Celtic Cultural Icon - The Uilleann Pipes - Recognized by UNESCO

The Irish Broadcasting Network are reporting that the Irish Uilleann pipes, an enduring symbol of Celtic culture in Ireland, have been recognised as an important and unique cultural heritage symbol by UNESCO.

Multiple press reports are quoting Irish President Michael Higgins on the announcement: 

President Michael D Higgins has welcomed the move. In a statement, President Higgins said the recognition of Uilleann piping in Irish culture is an honour and a "valuable recognition of the skills, imagination, creativity and importance of those who make, restore and play na píobaí uilleann". He said the music and craftwork of Ireland "connect us in profound ways, weaving together cultural memory and contemporary vision". RTE

The Latin American Herald also reported on the UNESCO decision and quoted the Irish Minister for the Gaeltacht commenting on the news:

Irish Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking regions), Josepha Madigan welcomed the announcement, saying the decision was “a testament to the community of Uilleann Pipers across the country who, since the 1960s, have succeeded in their mission to stop the decline in the playing and making of the Uilleann pipes.” The Irish pipes are considered the most complex bagpipe that can be played and the sophisticated instrument provides more musical possibilities than any other bagpipe thanks to its three different streams of sound. - Latin American Herald

Transceltic’s Alastair Kneale reported in January 2016 that: " Several items of Irish sport, music and folklore are to be considered for special UNESCO recognition and protection. Hurling, the Uilleann Pipes and the Irish folklore collection will be under scrutiny by the United Nations body.”

Uilleann Piping declined in the 19th century but was successfully revived in the 20th.




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