UNESCO IN TUNE WITH UILLEANN PIPING -MADIGAN
UILLEANN PIPES INSCRIBED ON THE UNESCO ICH REPRESENTATIVE LIST
Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is delighted today (Thursday, 7 December) to announce that Uilleann Piping has been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
In December 2015 Ireland ratified the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Intangible cultural heritage refers to the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage.
This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, which promotes respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.
Earlier today in Jeju, South Korea at the UNESCO twelfth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Ireland’s first application – Uilleann Piping – was approved for inscription on the Representative List.
This is the culmination of over 18 months work which commenced in March, 2016, and which was led by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, in partnership with Na Píobairí Uilleann.
Minister Madigan, in welcoming the decision, said: “Today’s decision is testament to the community of Uilleann Pipers across the country who, since the 1960’s, have succeeded in their mission to stop the decline in the playing and making of the uilleann pipes. The success today is a real community effort from Na Píobairí Uilleann, Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, the Armagh Pipers Club, and other organisations and individuals who have contributed to the resurgence of interest in Uilleann Piping, in Ireland and around the world.
“Ar an lá stairiúil seo, cuimhnímís ar na píobairí iomráiteacha a choinnigh an traidisiún seo beo – leithéidí Eamonn Ceannt, Willie Clancy, Seamus Ennis agus daoine nach iad. Is cinnte go mbeadh siad bródúil inniu as a gcuid oibre thar na blianta.”
“The recognition by UNESCO of Uilleann Piping as being an integral part of our living heritage, also shows clearly the value in Minister Humphreys’ decision to advance Ireland’s ratification of the Convention in 2015.”
The advancement of Uilleann Piping has also been supported by Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaíon on an annual basis since 1984.
In conclusion, Minister Madigan said: “Today’s announcement is a wonderful affirmation of the value of one of the most distinct musical forms to be found anywhere in the world – music which instantly transports you back to Ireland no matter where you are. I wish to thank Na Píobairí Uilleann and the whole piping community for their efforts in realising this recognition today.”
2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
- Ireland ratified the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in December 2015.
- The text of the Convention can be found at https://ich.unesco.org/en/convention
- Successful applicants to the National Inventory may also consider seeking nomination by the State for inscription on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The State is entitled to make one nomination to this list every year.
- Ireland’s second application under the convention is for recognition of hurling. This is expected to be considered next year.
- Following on from Ireland’s ratification of the Convention the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has advertised an open call for expressions of interest to include special elements of Ireland’s living heritage on the National Inventory on Intangible Cultural Heritage which is currently being compiled. The call remains open until 31st January 2018. Further details can be found here.