More power to your elbow


Sir, – Frank McNally’s Irishman’s Diary of February 1st is a splendid piece of writing. It covers the life and much regretted death, 70 years ago, of the piper Johnny Doran, and also the concert held by Na Píobairí Uilleann (NPU) in the Abbey Theatre on January 30th. This was put on to celebrate the recent Unesco decision to inscribe uilleann piping on its representative list of intangible cultural heritage and also, coincidentally, the 50th anniversary of NPU’s founding. Referring to the fact that the concert was held on the 70th anniversary of Doran’s death, Frank McNally asks whether “anyone involved realised the date’s sombre significance, but as the performers lined up on stage at the end to take their bow, it was 70 years to the night since the curtain descended on poor Johnny Doran.” I can assure him that the genius that was Johnny Doran is never far from the thoughts of pipers, and that the music which we selected to play over the Abbey Theatre’s sound system before the concert was those precious recordings of Doran that he mentioned earlier in his article. – Yours, etc,



Na Píobairí Uilleann,

Henrietta Street, Dublin 1.