1973 – Death of piper and folklorist, Willie Clancy.

Willie Clancy (24 December 1918 – 24 January 1973) was an Irish uilleann piper.

Clancy was born into a musical family in Miltown Malbay, County Clare. His parents both sang and played concertina, and his father also played the flute. Clancy’s father had been heavily influenced by local blind piper Garret Barry.

Willie started playing the whistle at age 5, and later took up the flute. He first saw a set of pipes in 1936 when he saw Johnny Doran playing locally. He obtained his first set of pipes two years later. His influences included Leo Rowsome, Séamus Ennis, John Potts, and Andy Conroy. Clancy won the Oireachtas competition in 1947.

Clancy married Dóirín Healy in 1962. The Willie Clancy Summer School was established in his honour in 1973.

He was also the subject of a major television documentary “Cérbh É? Willie Clancy” on TG4, first broadcast in November 2009. In this programme, one of a series in which ma-jor figures in contemporary traditional music, profile and pay homage to a master of their craft from a bygone age, Peter Browne traced the life and legacy of Clancy.

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