Seamus Ennis, Peadar Mercier, Dan O’Dowd & Proinnsias Ní Dhorchaí

Seamus Ennis, Peadar Mercier, Dan O’Dowd & Proinnsias Ní Dhorchaí

Seamus Ennis, uilleann pipes (second from right), with Peadar Mercier, bodhrán; Dan O’Dowd, uilleann pipes; and (?) Proinnsias Ní Dhorchaí, flute; by river Liffey, c. late 1970s, photographer unknown.

Seamus Ennis (1919–1982), uilleann piper, whistle player, singer, storyteller, linguist and translator, music and folklore collector, was an extraordinarily talented individual whose legacy is still being revealed. The son of musical parents from north county Dublin and a professional freelance musician, singer and broadcaster throughout his life, he worked as a music scribe for the Three Candles Press before becoming a professional collector for the Folklore Commission (1942–47), for Radio Éireann (1947–51), and for the BBC (1951–58). The twenty-fifth anniversary of his death has been marked by the publication of two substantial book studies – ‘Mise an Fear Ceoil’: Séamus Ennis – Dialann Taistil 1942–1946, edited by Ríonach uí Ógáin; and The Dance Music of Seamus Ennis, edited by Pat Mitchell – and of a Gael Linn CD Séamus Ennis: Ceol, Scéalta agus Amhráin. An annual autumn school ‘Scoil Shéamuis Ennis’ is held at the Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre, the Naul, Co Dublin.

Photo courtesy Irish Traditional Music Archive (via a private donor); it may be a publicity photograph for a concert of Na Píobairí Uilleann; information welcomed

Published on 1 November 2007

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