The Arts Council welcomed the news today that Uilleann Piping has been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Sheila Pratschke, Chair of the Arts Council said: “The Arts Council recognises and congratulates Na Píobairí Uilleann for its incredible work to bring knowledge, awareness and enjoyment of uilleann piping to the world stage.
The uilleann pipes are recognised across the world as the unique sound of Ireland and recognition of the uilleann piping tradition as a world-heritage will enable greater enjoyment, knowledge and awareness of the making and playing of uilleann pipes as well as the incredible repertoire of music associated with the instrument.
It is an opportunity to share with other traditions across the globe the cultural history of the uilleann pipes and the resilience of artists and communities in Ireland in the past. The UNESCO designation also offers a huge opportunity to learn and engage with other traditions across the globe and to share methods of transmission of traditional arts practices, which in Ireland are rooted in the creativity of individual artists and the value artists and communities place on artistic participation.”
When pipers established na Píobairí Uilleann in 1968 the numbers of players had fallen into decline and there were fewer than five makers of the instrument in existence. Today na Píobairí Uillean has a membership of 1130 of across 40 countries. It enables access and learning and it fosters quality performance and preservation of the tradition. Through its establishment of PipeCraft pipe-making facility and training programme it has hugely contributed to the survival and development of pipe-making, in turn providing instruments for learners and artists, working with their many partners, such as Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and Ballyfermot College of Further Education to develop opportunities for pipe-making and piping.
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