Follow @PoliticsIE
 
 
 
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: William Clarke, The Ballybay Piper

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member Cruimh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    County Londonderry
    Posts
    35,209
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)

    Default William Clarke, The Ballybay Piper

    Liam Clarke wrote of his Grandfather - Liam Clarke - on facebook and is happy for me to start a thread on a fascinating tale from county Monaghan

    I spent a fascinating Saturday afternoon in the company of Paul Flynn (chairman of of Ballybay Heritage society) my father Rev Bill Clarke and of my dad’s childhood friend Peadar Murnane, the noted Ballybay historian and antiquarian. Not to mention draper! Peadar, now pushing 90. He and Paul were both part of a committee who put up plaques and produced a booklet about 20 notable Ballybay figures at the places they lived or worked. One of them was my grandfather, “Willie Clarke the Ballybay piper” who died in 1934. Willie Clarke combined being pipe major of an Orange Order related band in the 20s and early 30s with a significant role in the revival of Irish pipe music at that time.
    I was surprised to hear that Peadar’s family were originally from Rutland Street in Belfast, he’d never mentioned it to me before. His parents were the only Catholics in the street and were put out in the 1920s. His father was a tram driver and Peadar himself as conceived in Belfast but born in Monaghan. They came there as refugees, staying in a barracks, and took a few years to establish their business.
    Yet some of their best friends were in the minority Protestant, even Orange, community. There is a lesson there about moving on and sharing without necessarily forgetting where we came from.
    From 1991:

    William Clarke



    Willie started out via Bagpipes, helping to found a pipe band, and became proficient on Uilleann pipes. The article is well worth reading - and Willie played the Uilleann pipes in a set of recordings from 1928 -

    Willie Clarke's name, like that of many another musician, would probably be long forgotten if it were not for his recordings. The story of how these records came about goes back to 1928 and an imaginative record company executive in London who decided to present on record the various piping traditions existing within these islands. Ireland would contribute the Uilleann Pipes, England the Northumbrian Pipes, and Scotland, the Highland Bagpipes - the series of three records to be entitled 'The Pipes of Three Nations'.
    Sadly William died young from Tuberculosis in 1934.

    In March 1988, 60 years after the recording of 'The Pipes of Three Nations', Na Piobairi Uilleann - the society of Uilleann Pipers - staged a concert at the Royal Hospital Kilmainhan, Dublin featuring four outstanding young pipers.Ronan Browne and Terry Tully represented Ireland's piping traditions on Uilleann pipes and bagpipes respectively; Hamish Moore from North Berwick played on the Scottish Small Pipes, and Kathryn Tickell from Newcastle-on-Tyne delighted the audience with her virtuosity on the Northumbrian pipes.
    William Clarke would have been proud to know that the name chosen for this concert of outstanding young pipers was, "The Pipes of Three Nations'.

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member cb1979's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    820
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Very interesting story. I was lucky to see many Northern pipe bands competing in a competition in Malahide several years ago. It was such a laid back, enjoyable afternoon in the grounds of Malahide Castle with bands like Cullybackey and Seven Towers down for the day. I wish more people in the south were exposed to this type of Protestant band culture.

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Member commonman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    5,343
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cb1979 View Post
    Very interesting story. I was lucky to see many Northern pipe bands competing in a competition in Malahide several years ago. It was such a laid back, enjoyable afternoon in the grounds of Malahide Castle with bands like Cullybackey and Seven Towers down for the day. I wish more people in the south were exposed to this type of Protestant band culture.

    Why dont they come down and play, bands from the south go up north, its only music.

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Kerry
    Posts
    3,165
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    I have come across pipe band competitions here in Munster and watched on TV the all Ireland pipe band events. Very enjoyable and highly skilled music from bands from all over. Interesting article .

  5. #5
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    936
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Thank you for that Cruimh.

  6. #6
    Politics.ie Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    What a coincidence. I was in Ballybay in early September for the 'unveiling' of a number of plaques in the town, one of which was for Willie Clarke. There was a strong turnout for the event, and the crowd was led around by a piper from Clontibret - who in times past would have been a rival to the Ballybay Pipe Band.
    I have a booklet of the event and it notes that one of Willie's sons, Tom, was KIA with the RAF in WW2. Another notable person associated with the town was the Rt Hon James MacMahon; last Under-Secretary of Ireland.

    Peadar Murnane is a great gentleman and a gifted historian, and the people of Ballybay were very welcoming to us 'strangers'.

  7. #7
    Politics.ie Member former wesleyan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    25,409
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by commonman View Post
    Why dont they come down and play, bands from the south go up north, its only music.
    I think Malahide is " down " actually , although geography was never my strong point.
    "What Michael Collins accepted in '22,De Valera accepted in'27 and Gerry Adams accepted in '98.Sooner or later they all come around to accepting the Treaty"

  8. #8
    Politics.ie Member Gurdiev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    7,217
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cb1979 View Post
    Very interesting story. I was lucky to see many Northern pipe bands competing in a competition in Malahide several years ago. It was such a laid back, enjoyable afternoon in the grounds of Malahide Castle with bands like Cullybackey and Seven Towers down for the day. I wish more people in the south were exposed to this type of Protestant band culture.
    Irish towns , small ad large ,have always had plenty of community activity, more post Celtic tiger than ever before. There's music and dancing up and down the country, jazz festivals, comedy , economics , writing , history festivals, feiles,and fleadhs, bike rides, tractor drives, you name it.
    how often do the Protestant Marching bands get invited down south ?
    I think many of us would like to see more of them , and the contact would increase understanding and acceptance of the Unionist heritage .
    The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night .

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member Ireniall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Co. Leix
    Posts
    7,778
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cb1979 View Post
    Very interesting story. I was lucky to see many Northern pipe bands competing in a competition in Malahide several years ago. It was such a laid back, enjoyable afternoon in the grounds of Malahide Castle with bands like Cullybackey and Seven Towers down for the day. I wish more people in the south were exposed to this type of Protestant band culture.
    I was inadvertently exposed to the Loyalist band culture at the fleadh in Derry as we could hear them practising at night where we were staying-great drums. It was a flute band though not pipes

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •