Friday 19 January 2018

'Burglars targeted my home to rob my precious Uillean pipes' - man makes appeal on 'Liveline'

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A musician has appealed for the return of his stolen Uilleann Pipes.

Leonard Barry contacted RTE Radio One's 'Liveline' programme earlier today and told broadcaster Joe Duffy he fears he may have been targeted for his instrument.

Burglars broke into Leonard's Ballyfermot home in recent days and took the Uileann pipes.

They also stole an iPad.

"They robbed my iPad that was sitting there and visible, and the [uileann] pipes were in a specific place," Leonard said.

"It looks like they popped the back door open, grabbed the pipes and ran out the back door."

"They're custom made," he explained.

"To me they're priceless, and to whoever stole them, they're absolutely worthless.

"My name is inscribed on them, [and] through social media I suppose, if anybody went to sell them to an Irish musician, they wouldn't touch them. Or if they did touch them, they would probably contact me straight away."

The pipes cost Leonard some €10,000.

The inscription reads: 'Made for Leonard Barry, May 2012'.

The pipes were custom made by Victor Mullally in Kilkenny.

The pipes were in their case which Leonard described as "bulky".

"This case would be bulky as it would be four foot long and one foot high, and maybe three or four inches thick.

"Maybe somebody saw a person walking down the road, maybe somebody might spot the case somewhere. Like it's not something you would miss," he added, saying it was similar to a rectangular guitar case.

Leonard said there is a massive waiting list for Uilleann pipes.

"You could be waiting two to three years for some makers, other makers will have their order books closed, and others have a waiting list of ten years," he told Joe.

Leonard was a full-time musician until 12 or 13 years ago. He joined the Simon Community and worked full time for the organisation for some ten years.

Two years ago, he opted to play music on a full-time basis again.

Leonard fears he may have been targeted by thieves with a special interest in his Uilleann pipes as he often practises in his home in Ballyfermot and gives lessons.

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