Daughter in law of Nobel prize winner William Butler Yeats, Gráinne Yeats passed away on April 18th this year. She is, together with Sheila Larchet Cuthbert and Mercedes Bolger, credited with the Irish harp revival and particularly that of the wire-strung harp. Gráinne was an internationally accomplished harp player, singer, teacher and historian. Born in a family close to its Irish roots, she knew some hundreds of songs learned during her childhood in the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region).
During her life, she showed a great interest in rebuilding the historical Irish harp, focused on O'Carolan's repertoire and d'Edward Bunting's collection of tunes. Her double CD The Belfast Harp Festival, was released for the bicentenary of the 1792 festival as well as a companion book: The Harp of Ireland: The Belfast Harpers' Festival, 1792, and the Saving of Ireland's Harp Music by Edward Bunting. She collaborated in the music book collection Sounding harp, published by Cáirde na Cruite, and wrote many articles about the history of the harp in Ireland.
Mairéid Sullivan paid her tribute through an interview she realised in 2000 and the extract of a video in which Gráinne evokes the link between harp and voice.