Bernard Delaney

(d. circa 1923)


Barney Delaney, uilleann pipes

Bernard Delaney was renowned as a superb performer on the uilleann pipes and was said to have had no rival in playing for dancers. Delaney was born near Tullamore, County Offaly and received some instruction from Tullamore piper Jack Foraghan, although was mostly self-taught. After moving to the United States in 1880, he worked for Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, saving enough money for a set of Taylor pipes before moving to Chicago.

Delaney eventually played on every important Chicago stage during his 25-year stay in that city. An in-demand piper, he played for numerous events around the community, and as O’Neill notes, had “been practically kidnapped more than once by delegations going to New Orleans in cars specially chartered for some important occasion.”

Hired by O’Neill for the Chicago police, Delaney was also O’Neill’s brother-in-law.

After twenty-four years service with the Chicago police force, Delaney retired to Ocean Springs, Mississippi on March 1, 1912. Delaney died in 1923 and is buried in Mount Olivet cemetery in Chicago.

Sources: Irish Minstrels and Musicians, 310 – 312; The Scribe, 154; Illinois Statewide Death Index, 1916-1950

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