Willie Clancy was born in Miltown Malbay in the parish of Kilfarboy, Co. Clare on Christmas Eve 1918. Clancy's parents, Gilbert and Ellen, were both talented musicians. They sang and played the concertina. At the age of 5, Clancy took up the whistle. He later turned his attentions to the flute. It would not be until 1938 at the age of 20 that he would take up the uileann pipes for which he would bring fame not only to himself and his family but to the entire community of Miltown Malbay.
After emigrating to London in search of work, Clancy returned home to Ireland and in the 1950s began to record his music under the Gael Linn label. He continued to record music until his death in January 1973.
Every July since the year of his death, musicians from all over the world have gathered in Miltown Malbay for the Willie Clancy Summer School, or Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy. This is a week-long festival that celebrates Miltown Malbay's most famous son and the traditional Irish music that he loved so dearly.
|Date of Birth||24th Dec 1918|
|Date of Death||24th Jan 1973|