Loughrea - Uileann Piper
Public Art in Loughrea
Loughrea Uileann Piper
Name of Artist: James Mac Carthy.
Materials Used: Bronze on a limestone block
On my visit to the Loughrea site I noticed there were three plaques to traditional musicians already in place, an acknowledgement of the great and long history of traditional music in the area. Later, while researching the history of the area, it struck me how much Loughrea figured in the history of the dispossession of Irish land and culture by the English. During Cromwell's Irish campaign, the playing of the Irish War Pipes was banned. This in turn led to the development of the Uileann
Pipes which could be played indoors because they had a softer and lower tone.
The reverberations of Cromwell's actions, and others in the following centuries, led to the dispersal of the Irish throughout the world. They took with them their music including the Uileann pipe, a uniquely Irish instrument. Bearing this in mind, I thought a sculpture of an uileann piper was appropriate and would compliment the existing panels.