Irish or uillean pipes are softer and (to my ears) more nasal than the Scottish (a.k.a. highland?) variety. It's not such a militaristic instrument. In bagpipe, slugo speaks of "a majestic instrument that stirs the soul"; for differing values of "majestic", this is accurate for both kinds.

Bagpipes have been played in the Near East since time out of mind. Since the Tuatha de Danann are said by notoriously unreliable sources (e.g. Seumas MacManus and my grandfather) to have come from Macedonia, it all makes sense.

achan: You're right about the mood thing. I cut that part. I should've just said that all my favorite instances of uillean pipe playing are mournful ones, e.g. the Bothy Band doing "The Blackbird".

The main thing is that I'm not adequately well-informed on the subject of Irish music and I shot my mouth off without checking my facts.