Piper’s celebration shakes the GPO
24th May, 2018: Looking good for a fifty year old with the weight of centuries of tradition on its shoulders, young and mature pipers of Na Píobarí Uilleann rocked Dublin’s GPO this week to herald a new stamp celebrating the 50th anniversary of their founding.
Na Píobairí Uillean, the society of uilleann pipers in Ireland was formed in 1968. Today (Thursday) An Post unveiled a stamp celebrating that historic event at the GPO and providing a suitable backdrop to the unveiling were twelve pipers from the ranks of the cultural organisation.
The stamp (€1) and a beautiful First Day Cover (FDC) envelope are available in main post offices, from the stamp counters at the GPO and online at irishstamps.ie
Designed by Vermillion Design, the stamp features the earliest known image of uillean pipes, ‘a piping pig’ as the capital letter ‘M’ from a 16th century Irish manuscript featured in Edward Bunting’s 1840 collection ‘The Ancient Music of Ireland’. The First Day Cover features an image of a set of 150 year-old pipes which were made in the United States and travelled to Australia with an emigrant and back to Ireland.
An Post expects strong demand for the stamp from collectors, music enthusiasts and pipers at home and abroad.
The CEO of Na Píobairí Uilleann, Gay McKeown said “We are honoured to have this significant milestone in the history of Na Piobairi celebrated during the GPO’s bicentenary year. It’s also significant that the stamp is launched here at the GPO and that pipers themselves celebrated the unveiling through their music and piping.
In 2017 the uilleann pipes were recognised by UNESCO as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’. This important global accolade reflects heritage cultural practices that are considered to enrich all of humanity.
When Na Píobairí Uilleann were founded there were less than 100 pipers remaining in the world. Today, operating from their premises at Dublin’s Henrietta Street, they are one of Ireland’s leading cultural organisations and maintain contact with thousands of pipers world-wide. They have also established a dedicated centre to foster pipe playing and the craft of pipe making.