Son’s plea for return of set of ‘priceless’ pipes

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The son of the late Derry musician and businessman Paddy Rice has appealed for help in tracing the whereabouts of a set of ‘priceless’ uilleann pipes that he mislaid in the city centre last month.

Emmett Rice, a talented uilleann piper, well-known among Derry and Donegal traditional circles, lost the pipes that were passed on to him by his father, on Sunday, May 13.

Almost a month later and the distinctive set, once a familiar sound at traditional music sessions the length and breadth of the North West and furthern afield, remain missing. Misplaced somewhere between Waterloo Street and Meadowbank Avenue they still haven’t turned up, much to the anguish of Mr. Rice.

The musician explained that the pipes, while of some monetary value to whoever retrieved them, are actually priceless to him, having been originally fashioned specially for his late father, the former musician, shop-owner and Chamber of Trade President, whose name is memorialised to this day through the Pat Rice Cup and Bursary of the Derry Feis, and who passed them on to his son before he died.

They are therefore invaluable and thus Mr. Rice has issued a heartfelt appeal asking anyone with any information about the pipes to get in touch.

“They where in a brown wooden case. The pipes are not overly expensive but priceless to me,” said Mr. Rice.

The local musician said he hoped issuing a public appeal would prick the conscience of anyone who might have come across the instrument and encouraged anyone with information to get in touch.

It may also be the case that someone came upon the pipes who had no idea who they belonged to and didn’t know who to contact.

“The details might not be that important since whoever has them knows they have them, and will know I am looking for them,” he said.

Mr. Rice asked that anyone with information on the pipes’ whereabouts contact him directly via email: emmetrice@gmail.com