Home of the Montreal St. Patrick's Parade

Liam Daly Heritage Award

Alan Jones

Alan Jones

(photo courtesy Ralph Thompson)

Born in Wales, Alan Jones became interested in Irish traditional music in the late 1960s, after first hearing it played in local folk music clubs and then hearing the great travelling Irish Uilleann piper Finbar Furey on BBC radio. Following numerous years of persistent searching, he eventually obtained his own set of Irish pipes and has since spent his life learning about the instrument and its practitioners. Alan has been a longtime member of Na Piobairi Uilleann (the Irish Pipers’ Association) and has travelled extensively in pursuit of his passion for Irish traditional music and culture.

Alan, an engineer by profession, emigrated to Canada in 1979, and it was not very long afterwards that he was being interviewed and performing on Liam Daly’s Montreal Irish TV show. While pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at Concordia University he undertook numerous Irish Studies courses, further expanding his knowledge of Irish history, geography, culture and music.

As an avid supporter of things Irish, Alan frequently performs at various events, in concerts and at festivals etc., playing and promoting the Irish pipes and Irish traditional music. He has marched in St. Patrick’s parades playing bagpipes, has piped for the Irish community’s annual march to the Irish Memorial site at the Victoria Bridge in Montreal, has performed at the Grosse Ile Memorial site 150th anniversary for Parks Canada, played his Uilleann pipes for Cine Gael’s 1916 Uprising 100th anniversary vintage silent movie showing, and performed the theme music for the acclaimed film Love and Savagery, which was filmed in Ireland and Newfoundland, and directed by John Smith, produced by Kevin Tierney, and featured Alan Hawco as one of the principal actors. He has performed on behalf of Concordia University in promoting the Irish Studies department with mayors and ministers at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. In 2004, Alan was the invited Uilleann piper who performed with renowned Irish flute player and ethnomusicologist Desi Wilkinson, in a special concert called “Ireland on the St. Lawrence” – which traced the strong musical roots between Irish and Quebec (French Canadian) traditional music.

For his commitment to Irish traditional music and Irish culture, the United Irish Societies of Montreal is pleased to present the 2018 Liam Daly Heritage Award to Alan Jones.


A native son of Dublin, Ireland, Liam Daly was proud of his Irish heritage. From the first day he arrived through his talent, love, and devotion, Mr. Daly volunteered his time to the continual presence of Irish arts and culture in the City of Montreal. Because Liam’s presence is missed, in 2004 the United Irish Societies of Montreal created the Liam Daly Heritage Award, awarded annually to a worthy candidate who exemplifies Liam's love of his heritage and who promotes the Irish heritage, usually through the arts.

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