Hugh O'Neill (piper)

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Hugh O'Neill (fl. 1730's), Irish piper.

O'Neill was born at Foxford, County Mayo, late in the 1600s; his mother, Ms. MacDonnell, being a cousin of Count Taaffe.

"Having lost his sight by smallpox when but seven years old, he devoted himself to the study of music as an accomplishment. In later years this acquirement was turned to good account when he was beset with reverses of fortune."

From the respectability of his family and the propriety of his deportment, he was received more as a friend and associate than a professional performer by the gentry of Connacht."

To the generosity of Mr. Tennison of Castle Tennison, County Roscommon, he owed the possession of a large farm at a nominal rent. Though sightless he enjoyed a hunt with the hounds which in an open country like Roscommon subjected him to comparatively little physical danger.

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