Rachael Duffy will be in the museum this Friday 21st September to play the harp between 11am and 12noon. Here is a link to a photo of her recent performance at the museum. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151163729631294&set=a.10151163729361294.496585.109471921293&type=1&theater
Why does the Harp feature so widely as a symbol in Ireland?
The harp has been used as a political symbol of Ireland for centuries. Its origin is lost in the mists of time, but from the evidence of the ancient oral and written literature, it has been present in one form or another since at least the 6th century or before. According to tradition, Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, who died in 1014 at the battle of Clontarf, played the harp.
Since 1922 the government of Ireland has used a left-facing harp as its state symbol. The harp emblem is used on official state seals and documents including the Irish Passport and has appeared on Irish coinage from the Middle Ages to the current Irish imprints of Euro coins. The harp is also traditionally used on the flag of Leinster.
The harp is also used extensively as a corporate logo, for both private and government organisations. For instance Guinness uses a harp facing right on its labels and less detailed than the version used on the state arms. Relatively new organisations also use the harp, but often modified to reflect a theme relevant to their organisation, for instance; Irish airline Ryanair uses a modified harp, and the Irish State Examinations Commission uses it with an educational theme. The Police Service of Northern Ireland and Queen’s University of Belfast use the harp as part of their identity.