SEAMUS ENNIS BIOGRAPHY
Ennis, Uilleann Piper, Folklore and Music Collector, was born in 1919
in Finglas, Dublin. His father, James Ennis, was a prize-winning musician
on several instruments including the Flute and Uilleann Pipes, and was
also a champion Irish dancer. His mother, Mary Josephine Ennis was an
accomplished fiddle player.
When Séamus left school, in the early 1940's he would travel the
country as music archivist for the Irish Folklore Commission. In 1946
he successfully applied for a job in Radio Eireann as an Outside Broadcast
Officer, it wasn't long before Séamus proved himself to be a skilled
presenter. On a visit to Clare in 1949, he recorded the playing of the
legendary Willie Clancy, Bobby Casey, Sean Reid, Martin Talty and Micho
Russell. During the 1950's Séamus moved to London to work with
the BBC on a scheme aimed at recording extensively the surviving folk
culture of England, Scotland and Wales.
Séamus continued to perform around Ireland during the 1960s and
played at the first meeting of 'Na Piobairi Uileann' in 1968. In the early
1970s he shared accommodation with Uilleann Piper Liam O'Flynn in Dublin.
During that time they formed The Halfpenny Bridge Quartet, with Liam on
the pipes, Tommy Grogan on accordion and Sean Keane on Fiddle. Séamus
had a lasting impression on Liam who was in awe of his knowledge and expertise.
Séamus bequeathed his Uilleann Pipes to Liam.
Séamus continued playing around Ireland and overseas right up to
the time he lost his battle with cancer in October 1982 aged 63. Some
of his last performances included the Willie Clancy Summer School and
the Lisdoonvarna Folk Festival.
Best of Irish Piping
Copyright © 1999 - 2013 Tara Music Company Limited. - All Rights Reserved