Margaret began learning the pipes at age 8 and was initially taught by her father Con Houlihan and Stephen Power (ex Scots Guards).
She moved to Scotland in 1998 to attend the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama where she studied for 4 years and graduated with an Honours Degree in Scottish Traditional Music. While Margaret was at the Academy she joined the Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, under P/M Robert Mathieson, and with them won the World Pipe Band Championships in Grade 1 in 2000.
Margaret returned as Pipe Major of her local home band, Cullen, in 2006 and in 2007 the band won the World Pipe Band Championships in Grade 3B. The band progressed to grade 2, where they won the All Ireland Pipe Band Championships in 2013.
Margaret is a qualified examiner for the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board exams (SQA approved) after passing the Institute of Piping Graduate Certificate with distinction in 2004.
Margaret has competed regularly around the Scottish Highland Games circuit and at the Argyllshire Gathering, London and the Northern Meetings. She has also competed in many knockout competitions through-out Scotland. Here are some of her prizes to date include:
● 1st MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd (22 and under) Argyllshire Gathering 1999
● 1st B Grade March, Argyllshire Gathering 1999
● 1st Strachan Memorial A Grade March Strathspey & Reel, London 2000
● 1st Duncan Johnstone Memorial Piobaireachd 2001
● 1st A Grade Strathspey and Reel, Argyllshire Gathering 2003
● Winner of the Silver Medal at the Northern Meetings 2007
● 1st A Grade March at the Argyllshire Gathering 2007
● 5th Former Winners MSR London 2007
● 5th Former Winners 2/4 March London 2007
● Islay Inn Knockout Winner 2011
● Piping for Pints Knockout, Aberdeen 2013
● Scots Guards Club Knockout Winner 2014