Bettystown 1968

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outofthebox
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Bettystown 1968

Post by outofthebox » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:00 am

Does anyone know if there is a list of all of the fifty or so pipers who attended the gathering of pipers organised by Leo Rowsome at Bettystown in 1968? I have googled it and found a small size photograph of the assembled pipers. But it would be interesting to see a full list of their names and where they came from, as it would give a good picture of the state of piping in Ireland at that point in history. I'm especially interested to know if there were many pipers from more rural parts of Ireland at that time, or if the big cities - Dublin, Belfast, Cork etc made up the bulk of that gathering.

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Mr.Gumby
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Re: Bettystown 1968

Post by Mr.Gumby » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:37 am

The meeting in Bettystown was not initiated or organised by Leo Rowsome. Breandán Beathnach, Seán Reid and a committee of people concerned about the future of the pipes were responsible. The meeting led to the foundation of Na Piobairi Uilleann, the name for the organisation suggested by Séamus Ennis.

Names have been provided for (most of) the pipers in the photograph on various occasions in An Piobaire and most are given with the pics of the occasion in the NPU archive.



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outofthebox
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Re: Bettystown 1968

Post by outofthebox » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:51 am

Thanks - that's a better quality photo than the one I had seen. Names are of less interest to me, though, than place of residence. What I'd really like to see is a graph showing the numbers of pipers against their place of residence. I suppose that those in attendance did not represent the total number of pipers in Ireland at that time. Those living in rural parts in 1968 may have been less likely to attend, given the difficulties and expense associated with transport, at a time when car ownership was still quite low. There may also have been a number of pipers living and working away in Britain at the time, given the high levels of emigration. So I would expect a graph to show that there would have been greater representation from pipers living in Dublin and the south-east.

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Mr.Gumby
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Re: Bettystown 1968

Post by Mr.Gumby » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:09 am

There was good contingency of dubs there but I spot people from the West, South , North and North East and all sorts of places in those pictures.

A few more people turned up in 1969 but don't underestimate how low the count of active pipers had become around that time.

If you use 'view image' for this one from 1969 you can use the zoom, there's more resolution there.

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outofthebox
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Re: Bettystown 1968

Post by outofthebox » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:43 am

The reason I'm interested in this is that it seems to me that the tradition had always largely depended on small 'schools' of piping. Dublin had, and always probably had, an established network with makers and instructors working within the city. Cork and Belfast had similar traditions on a smaller scale. But in rural areas the situation was perhaps more interesting, in that it seems to have depended on a small number of aged pipers associated with particular areas, perhaps playing instruments passed down within the family - and also very significantly on the travelling piper tradition.

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Mr.Gumby
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Re: Bettystown 1968

Post by Mr.Gumby » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:21 am

I suppose it depends on the period of time you focus on. Traditional music has always been very much a rural activity and it has been pointed out in the past that a lot of the families associated with music in Dublin during the 20th century came to the city from rural backgrounds.

Reading the pipers' profiles in O'Neill's Irish Minstrels should help your understanding, to an extend anyway.
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