Sean McAloon

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Sean McAloon (1923–1998) was a piper and pipe maker from Ireland. Originally from the Rosslea area of County Fermanagh, McAloon's first instrument was the fiddle. However, he is best known as a master of the uilleann pipes. He emigrated to the United States in 1964, but after a year he returned to Ireland. He spent eight months working as a builder's labourer in Dublin, but moved to Belfast in 1966 to be closer to his family. There, he got a job working for the Corporation Parks Department.

His major inspirations as a piper were Phil Martin, whom he saw playing at a feis in Rosslea, and Leo Rowsome. In addition to being a fine player, McAloon eventually became a respected pipe repairer and a highly regarded reed-maker. He produced about twenty sets of the instrument in his lifetime. John McSherry owns a McAloon half-set.


Various artists, "Ulster's Flowery Vale", B.B.C. Radio Enterprises REC28M, no date (a compilation of traditional songs and music originally broadcast on the Northern Ireland Home Service, July and August 1968)

  • John Rea & Sean McAloon, Drops of Brandy, Topic 12TS287, 1976
  • Various artists, Irish Traditional Music, Temple COMD2079, 2000 (compilation culled from three Topic releases, including 12TS287)
  • Sean McAloon, Stor Piobaireachta (Piping from the Archives), Na Píobairí Uilleann, 2004


  • Liner notes for Drops of Brandy
  • Vallely, Fintan (1999), The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-8802-5.