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Text by Alphie Mulligan 

Felix Doran’s Silver Pipes

I arrived at the Bellbridge Hotel, Spanish Point, on the afternoon of Saturday 25/04/2010 with my son Tadhg.  To my delight there was a young piper playing Felix Doran's "Silver Set" of pipes.

Mikey Doran (Felix's son) came over to me and asked me to bring over -, as he called it - the "Doner Set”, because he wanted to show the set to his son Mikey Jnr.   My set was originally made by Leo Rowsome for Felix Doran in the mid 1950’s and are known as the "silver plated set". The "silver plated set" was split up around 1968 and the drones and the top of the chanter of the Rowsome set ended up on Felix's Silver Set which were made and crafted by a German engineer.  It was easy to match the original Rowsome set as the engraving on the Silver Plated Set matched the engraving on the drones and chanter top of the Silver Set.  Also the harp on the chanter top was similar to the harp on the stock of the Rowsome set as well.  I had always wondered what had happened to the original drones and chanter.

I asked Mikey what had happened to the original Rowsome Chanter and he said that his father Felix was always "giving away bits of pipes to young lads to get them started". 

I was amazed at how slender the silver chanter was.  Néillidh played some tunes on the Silver Set and then I joined him with the Silver Plated Set.  Myself and Néillidh did not manage to get the two chanters playing together in tune as you will notice from the facial expressions..!  A new reed for the chanter of the Silver Set was being arranged by Sunday morning after breakfast… It was a delight for me to get to see the missing parts of my Doran set,  I was sorry after that I had not re-assembled all the Rowsome parts and to have taken some photos, but maybe the next time..  Thanks to Mikey Doran and his son Mickey Jnr. for bringing over this famous Silver Set of pipes and to let us all see and play them!! Fantastic!


Leo Rickard has kindly allowed the photos he took at the Doran Tionól to be put up on this website.

Link to  Felix Doran'sSilver Plated Set


Mikey Doran (Jnr)and Neillidh with the Silver set

Mikey Doran (Jnr), Neillidh and  Mikey Doran (Snr)


The Drones have the same engraving as the Silver plated set





The  Doner set

Link to  Felix Doran'sSilver Plated Set


The Silver plated set 

Link to  Felix Doran'sSilver Plated Set



Neillidh and Alphie Mulligan


Felix Doran's both set of Pipes, Neillidh with the Silver set and Alphie with The Silver Plated set, back together after 42 years









The Silver Chanter

Finding more matching engravings



Neillidh Mikey Doran and Alphie



Tadhg Mulligan, his unle Neillidh and father Alphie


The Piper's Despair




For further information please contact:

E-mail: neillidh@eircom.net Web:http://neilmulligan.com/