Yeah, that's a good one, eh?
I had the good fortune to spend some time with Seán Gavin (piper & flute player with the band Bua) the other day, and he was showing me a bunch of stuff largely gleaned from many hours closely studying recordings of Willie Clancy, Patsy Tuohey, and Bernard Delaney. Lots of great tight stuff and note-bending stuff. I had heard much of what he was doing before, and I had previously used some of it in my own playing, but I don't think I had ever consciously made the connection of how to use all of these stylistic elements in a manner that is directly related to the internal rhythm of the tune. Spending an hour going over this stuff has caused me to completely re-evaluate my playing and go back to the drawing board, take tunes that I thought I knew apart, and re-fashion them from the ground up. I figure I've got quite a bit of work cut out for me for the next few months at least, if not much, much longer...
As Séamus Ennis famously said, a lot of people think they've got it, but they haven't even started yet. There's always a lot more out there to learn, but that's part of the fun.