Family of Tragic Eilidh Issue Heartfelt Thanks to Piping World

The family of 14-year-old Eilidh MacLeod who lost her life in the Manchester terrorist bomb outrage on May 22 have issued a statement thanking the piping and pipe band world for their messages of support and condolences at their loss.

Eilidh, from Barra in the Outer Hebrides, was one of 22 people who died when a bomb was detonated at the Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariana Grande pop music concert. Regarding the photo of Eilidh (above) her father Roddy MacLeod said, ‘The picture has  been gifted by Claire Watson the official photographer at the Scottish School Pipe Band Championships earlier this year.

‘It is of Eilidh as she prepared with Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band to enter the stage for this year’s Scottish Schools Pipe Band competition in Edinburgh. The band won the Freestyle category that day. We love this photo because it is a side of our vivacious, fun-loving girl who few got to see. My wife and I always saw it as the point when the serious matter of showing your best for your bandmates and bringing all the hours of practice together in those few minutes of performance kicked in. We are not musicians ourselves but think it may be something your readers will recognise straight away.’

Here is the family’s statement in full:

Dear Pipers and Drummers,

We, the family of Eilidh MacLeod would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your kind messages and generosity following the tragic loss of our darling daughter Eilidh. 

Our hearts are broken, yet we have taken some comfort that our Eilidh’s short life has touched so many people from all walks of life. As we take time to rebuild our lives we would like to thank the many bands and musicians who offered support to us, Eilidh’s friend Laura, her family and the other innocent people lost and injured in the attack at Manchester Arena. 

On the day we left Manchester to take Eilidh on her final journey home to Barra we were truly touched that so many pipers and drummers from the North West of England and beyond, gathered in Manchester to remember the people caught up in that horrific event on the 22nd May. We were honoured that the banners displayed that day reflected that Eilidh was ‘one of their own’. We would particularly like to thank Colin Murphy, Graham Houghton and the bands of Manchester for rallying and standing together.

Eilidh was extremely proud to be a piper, and she practiced regularly so she could be the best band member and solo player that she could possibly be. She loved the fun and camaraderie with her bandmates and the trips that took her off Barra to practice, perform and compete. Eilidh also loved these opportunities to meet and make new friends with other young pipers, drummers, dancers and their friends. We take great comfort that Eilidh is so fondly remembered by so many young people in their cards to us and on social media. 

There are just too many organisations, bands and individuals to name here. We would like to thank you all for your support at this difficult time, but a few we would especially like to thank are: 

Donald Patrick Nicholson, Donald “Bhan” MacDonald, Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band, Duncan Nicholson, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Wasatch & District Pipe Band, Lewis Pipe Band, Feis Bharraigh Pipers, Mick MacNeil, Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, Ullapool & District Junior Pipe Band, Eddie Strachan, McCallum Bagpipes, Iain Neosa & Friends, Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band.

From the overwhelming support we have received, we now have a real understanding of the family that is the ‘Piping World’, and for that we thank you.

With love and the very best wishes,

Roddy, Marion, Shona and Laura MacLeod xxx


4 thoughts on “Family of Tragic Eilidh Issue Heartfelt Thanks to Piping World”

  1. We have a Shona and Laura and a Vairi who was to have been called Eilidh but sisters changed their minds ,we cannot believe your strength and love for your amazing talented Daughter Eilidh and so amazed at the love you have been shown. Especially the piping world there is not a day we don’t think about you and all youramazing family in Barra and beyond love from us all in Tobermory you are always in our thoughts xxxx

  2. R I P Elidh, being a piper myself and originally from south uist I would know that eilidh loved the pipes same as all the islanders do, she will be sadly missed in the piping world. God rest her soul.

  3. You’re never just a piper.Youre a member of an
    order a sacred order that is strange to an outsider.We dont choose to play the Bagpipes They choose us.RIP bonnie lassie one day we will all able to pipe with you.

  4. How very tragic to lose one so young and in the bud of their youth. As a mother of three children who were involved with pipe bands in their teens both civilian and Cadet Pipe bands your loss strikes close to home. I can’t imagine the grief and loss you are experiencing at this time. You have many memories of your daughter’s life, many band trips, band practises and forever friendships made in the piping world. I was once told when my kids were starting out that it is a small piping world and I am sure with the outpouring Of condolences and the beautiful tribute from the pipe bands it must have felt justly so.

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