Sculpture of Willie Clancy unveiled

Hundreds in Miltown Malbay to see piper Liam O’Flynn unveil life-size bronze statue

Piper Liam O’Flynn (left) with artist Shane Gilmore and American couple Judith and Barry Merrill who donated the statue at the unveiling in Miltown Malbay on Saturday. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Piper Liam O’Flynn (left) with artist Shane Gilmore and American couple Judith and Barry Merrill who donated the statue at the unveiling in Miltown Malbay on Saturday. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Mon, Nov 11, 2013, 01:00

Hundreds of people at the weekend braved showers rolling in from the Atlantic over the village of Miltown Malbay to witness piper Liam O’Flynn unveil a life-size bronze statue of Willie Clancy.

The west Clare village has long been a Mecca for traditional Irish musicians thanks largely to the summer school held every July named after Willie Clancy.

The summer school was established by friends of Willie Clancy in 1973 months after the piper died at the age of 54.

Two years ago, American couple Judith and Barry Merrill commissioned Shane Gilmore to create the sculpture.

At the weekend, Ms Merrill said: “The people of Miltown Malbay have made our dream come true, so we are only delighted that we can make their dream come true with the statue of Willie Clancy.”