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A statue of uilleann piper Willie Clancy, after whom the internationally renowned annual Summer School was named, is to be unveiled on Saturday November 9th, 2013 at 2pm on the Main Street in Miltown Malbay.

World famous piper, Liam O’Flynn, will officially launch the statue. A former pupil of Willie Clancy, Liam is one of Ireland’s foremost pipers and has travelled the world playing traditional Irish music.

The statue is being donated to the people of Clare by Judith and Barry Merrill, an American couple who spend much of the year in the Miltown Malbay area.

“Drawn to the area by a love of traditional music and having developed strong ties to the people and the place over the years, the Merrill’s felt that this would be a fitting tribute not only to Willie Clancy but to Miltown Malbay,” explained Siobhan Mulcahy, Clare Arts Officer. Ms. Mulcahy continued: “The Merrill’s were adamant that the sculpture should be made in Clare and were delighted to discover the work of local sculptor, Shane Gilmore. Shane was commissioned to create the sculpture and spent much time researching Willie Clancy and the pipes that he played. He has created a hugely detailed sculpture, cast in Seamus Connolly’s bronze foundry in Kilbaha.”

Born into a musical family at Islandbawn near Miltown Malbay, Willie Clancy recorded his influential recordings for the Gael Linn label. The Willie Clancy Summer School was established in his honour following his death in 1973.

To celebrate the launch, the Arts Office of Clare County Council are extending an open invitation to all those interested to attend the official launch at the Miltown Malbay Community Centre at 2pm on Saturday, following the unveiling of the sculpture.