© Artwork by M. Brennan 2012 copyright - All
- Click on images to
- "Carlow Pipe Band"
image was taken after 1948 with Garry
Hearns holding the flag unfurled.
- (Garry Hearns was
Margo Hearns Brown father formally of Graiguecullen).
- "Carlow Pipers
Band at Killeshin on a May day parade. My father, Garry
Hearns, is in front with the flag."
- It was probably
taken in the early 1940's. I don't know why my father is
caring the flag furled, unless they were on their way to
the parade starting point.
- The images above were submitted by Margo Hearns
Brown in Jan 2007
- "Carlow Pipe Band"
- Back Row (L-R): Sean Byrne, Pipe
Major. Dan McGath. Gary Hearns (Flag unfurled). Tony Kirwan. Frank
Connolly. Jim Dunne. Liam Sullivan. Martin Shaw, Tom Sullivan,
- Front Row (L-R): Paddy
Payne, Michael Cradden Jun.
P. Foley. Tom Shaw. S. Birmingham. Paddy Riley. Billy McGrath.
Some members who joined
the band after this photo was taken: Denis Haughney. Paddy Dooley.
Paddy Hunt and Martin Brophy.
- The youngest member of the band was
Paddy Dooley (he is the one on the left) and Michael J.
Cradden Jun., on the right.
- (Sent in by Michael J. Cradden
Jun. April 2007)
- Michael Cradden Jun joined the Carlow Pipe Band after he
left the CBS in 1948. The band room was on the top floor
of the Workmans Club in Brown Street, Carlow.
- The above photo was submitted (24 Jan 2007) by Michael
J. Cradden Jun who is in the front row and is a scanned image of
the original photograph taken c1948/49. This photo shows two
extra members of the band which were cut off when the one at the
top left was published.
- To the best of my knowledge that names above are
- Michael J. Cradden Jun.
Formally of Montgomery
My Thanks to Michael & Margo for this very
valuable piece of history on the Carlow Pipe band.
- An early photograph of the old Carlow Pipe Band. The date of
the picture is unknown but the dress puts in the c.1940's.
- Source: The Nationalist Sept 16th 1988
- Carlow Pipe Band pictured in 1966 or 1967, the year in which
they won an all-Ireland title in New Ross. The pictures were
loaned to us by Mr. Mick Byrne, 201 Maher Road, Governey Park,
Graiguecullen who played the big drum in the band in the
- Source: The Nationalist Sept 16th 1988
- Carlow Pipe
colorization by Michael Lyons)
- In this photo: Jimmy Dunne,
Larry Dowling, Martin Mulhall, Tommy Lyons, Frances Dowling,
Matthew, Liam Dooley, Mick Byrne, Mathew Kearney, Pat Byrne, Tom
Byrne, Michael Byrne.
- Carlow Pipe Band at Bennetsbridge Co.
Kilkenny in 1968. — with Tommy Lyons, Pat Byrne, Liam Dooley, Mick
(the Big drum) Byrne and Tom Byrne.
This is a storey written over 70
years ago about a famous Carlow family of Irish Pipers
- During the whole of the 19th century the
members of one family, named Byrne, were famous throughout the County
Carlow and indeed throughout South Leinster for their skill in playing
- The first of them that could be traced was.
“Old Jimmy Byrne”, who was born at Shangarry, near Myshall in 1770 and
died in 1852. The site of his house, was pointed out by an old man
named Doyle. Of Old Jimmy, it was said that towards the end of his
life, that so skilful was he, that if he started a tune on the pipes
and then left them on the floor they would of themselves finish the
tune correctly. One old person who remembered old Jimmy was Mrs.
O’Connor who was 8 years of age at the time of old Jimmy’s death. She
lived at Ballymoon Cross, and this was a favourite resort of the
- Jimmy had three sons, James, John and
Thomas. James was the best musician of the three. It was he who taught
the pipes to old Sam Rowsome of Ferns, who died in 1916, aged 91
years. Sam Rowsome was grandfather of that famous piper the late Leo
Rowsome. James Byrne died about 1867.
- John Byrne, the second son of Jimmy, was
also a great piper. He travelled about more than his brother and so he
is better remembered by the old people of the County Carlow. Eighty
four years old Owen Hayden of Augha remembered Johnny Byrne well. He
recalled him as a fine handsome man, who used to wear a tall hat, top
boots and a swallow-tail coat. Owen Hayden himself was an expert flute
- Johnny Byrne went to America in 1860. Patk.
Doyle of Shangarry a returned exile met Johnny Byrne in Chicago and
heard him play there.
- No one in Co. Carlow seems to have had a
good opinion of Thomas, (3rd son of old Jimmy) as a musician. He lived
in a cabin in Muine Bheag. He was a frequent visitor to Ballyloughan
and used sometimes to stay in houses there for weeks at a time. He was
a deeply religious man. Unfortunately he sank into poverty and died in
Thomastown workhouse, about 1890.
- Certain tunes are still known to traditional
musicians in Carlow and Wexford as Byrne’s tunes and some of them are
(The notes on which this article is based were
collected almost 74 years ago).
Source: CARLOVIANA 1983
Edition No. 30
Although there is record of what type of bagpipes the Byrne's
played there were many types of Bagpipes associated with
Ireland over the years:
bagpipe with un-keyed chanter and keyed drones, from Ireland.
The most common type of bagpipes in Irish traditional music.
pipes: Although the exact origin of this pipe is
uncertain, it was developed into the modern Uilleann bagpipe.
Boru bagpipes: Carried by the Royal Inniskilling
Fusiliers and had three drones, one of which was a baritone,
pitched between bass and tenor. Unlike the chanter of the
Great Highland Bagpipe, its chanter is keyed, allowing for a
greater tonal range
Great Irish Warpipes
The Great Irish Warpipes, (Irish: Píob Mhór - Great
Bagpipes), played at least for over 1500 years, are closely
related to the Great Highland Bagpipe, with which they are
essentially synonymous. The first references to the bagpipes
in Ireland are found in the 5th century Brehon Laws. Mention
is made in a dinnseahchas or topographical poem, “Aonach
Carman”, the fair of Carman, a composition of the eleventh
century found in the Book of Leinster. The earliest
representations of pipe-playing are to be seen on the High
Crosses some 1500 years ago, and illustrations are further
recorded in the 16th century. A rough wood carving of a piper
formerly at Woodstock Castle, co. Kilkenny. The pipes depicted
are obviously the prototype of the present day Píob Mhór or
war pipes. In form they are one with the types depicted on the
Continent about this time (e.g. Dürer’s piper, 1514). There is
no record of the pipes or any other musical instrument being
played on the field of battle in pre-Norman Ireland. In later
times the pipes were regarded by foreign commentators as being
peculiarly the martial instrument of the Irish.
Historically after the late 1800s the Great Irish
Warpipes differed slightly from the Great Highland Bagpipe by
having two drones instead of three, a tenor drone pitched one
octave below the chanter, and a bass drone pitched two octaves
below the chanter. In fact, the Great Highland Bagpipe also
had two drones until well into the 1800s when the present
three drone configuration can be seen. Historically the two
drone bagpipe predates the three drone type. Nearly all
players of Irish warpipes today play the three-drone pipes
with two tenor drones and a single bass drone, the two-drone
pipes having nearly died out.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
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