Richard Lewis (R. L.) O’Mealy was a union piper and pipe-maker, born in Westmeath in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. He lived most of his adult life in Belfast where he was renowned as a piper, broadcaster, piping teacher and pipe-maker. His piping was crisp, entertaining and inventive and his broadcasts were essential listening for anyone with an interest in Irish music.
Through his teaching and making of the instrument he was central to the continuance of piping in the north-east of Ireland in the early twentieth century. As an entertainer he was widely celebrated for both his knowledge of piping and the eccentric costumes he wore while performing. Tonight we celebrate the man and his music.