The late Victor Mullally

Tribute to local Uileann Pipe maker

Brian Keyes

Reporter:

Brian Keyes

Candles

Candles

Victor Mullally was born 27th July 1960 and grew up in Busherstown Glenmore. He was son of Tommy and Essie Mullally the eldest of ten children. He attended primary school in Glenmore and secondary school in CBS New Ross. Throughout his childhood he helped out on the family farm.

In his teenage years he enjoyed horseriding, showjumping and eventing and won numerous prizes in these disciplines. He hunted with the Mullinavat and District Harriers where he whipped the hounds.
After secondary school he attended UCD where he studied Geography and Economics and made many lifelong friends from all over Ireland. Having always had a keen interest in music he developed a particular interest in traditional music.
Also at this time he met his future wife Mary Sweetman from Carrig Hill Bannow who resided in the flat downstairs. Subsequently they married on 18th September 1987. They lived in Newcastle Co.Dublin for two years before emigrating to New York.
Victor spent seven years working for Galvin Bros in Great Neck in the construction industry. While in New York two of their children were born, Deirdre and Niamh.
Always a homebird, it was never a question of if, but only when Victor would return to Glenmore. Following their return in 1996 they built their home in his native Busherstown. Here their third daughter Clodagh was born. On his return he continued to work in construction, but found time to get involved in the local GAA club.
Over the past twenty years, Victor played a huge part in so many roles within Glenmore GAA club. He was senior football manager and county football selector for many years, before serving on the Kilkenny hurling and football boards. For almost ten years, Victor was vice-chairman of the club, in this period he was the driving force behind the club’s new grounds, Páirc na Ratha. Victor was very proud of this development and did untold work to make this facility available for the community.
He also developed a keen interest in Family History spending endless hours with his father talking to neighbours, family and friends tracing the Mullally clan back for generations.
With Victor, music was always in the air. This eventually found expression in Victor’s great vocation, Uilleann Pipe Making. His first practice set was made for his daughter Deirdre in part prompted by the difficulty in sourcing pipes.
His passion for pipe making was aided and abetted by his great friend Mick O Brien from Artane, Piper Extraordinaire. Mick perfected and fine-tuned Victor’s masterpieces. Many hours were spent discussing the merits of various reeds and chanters. Painstaking work was also put into sourcing the best quality raw materials.
As the construction industry in Ireland declined Victor’s move to full-time pipe making seemed a natural progression. Very soon word spread and orders were coming in from all over the world. Many pipers found their way to Busherstown to look at his work in progress. If, “a picture paints a thousand words” a tune can inspire a thousand minds. The highlight of Victor’s piping calendar was his annual pilgrimage to Milltown Malbay for the Willie Clancy School. It was here he had taken his first pipe making classes. He also spent many hours listening, talking, advising, and renewing his friendship with musicians and music lovers from all over the world.
Victor’s life was sadly cut short on the 10th of December 2017 when he died suddenly at his home. His funeral mass took place in Glenmore and Victor is buried in the adjoining cemetery, where a huge gathering of musicians, relatives, friends and neighbours assembled to pay their final respects.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.