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Brass band’s 50th noted and will be celebrated in time

Plans to honour group that has been instrumental in Clare’s cultural life ‘when the time is right’

THE instrumental role that the Ennis Brass Band have played in the county has been highlighted this week with plans now underway to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Local representatives in the Ennis Municipal District have agreed to mark the historic anniversary, however because of Covid-19 it is unclear when the celebration will take place and what form it will take.

Councillor Ann Norton, at the monthly meeting of the local authority, proposed that the band be honoured for “their work and dedication to the town and county”.

The motion was widely agreed with tributes paid to the work of those involved in the band.

Putting forward the motion, Councillor Norton said she was “very conscious of the fact we are in a pandemic” but she believed it was appropriate to bring to the attention of the Council that the Ennis Brass Band is marking a “huge anniversary”.

She stressed the importance of “acknowledging the brass band for the time and the amount of work they put in and the amount of joy they have given to the people of Ennis, the people of our county and further afield.”

She added that the brass band has a long history within the town, performing at many key events.

“When you look back over the years and you see the different people who were involved with the brass band for such a long period of time, you recognise quite a lot of family members who have grown up with and continue to be a part of the band., the It’s a generational thing for many and I think it’s fantastic.”

She continued, “They really are the backbone of Ennis and our county. No matter what event, the brass band are always in attendance.”

The councillor acknowledged that Covid restrictions mean that a celebration, such as a mayoral reception, is not possible at this time, but something could be done next year.

“I wouldn’t want Covid to take away the chance to be able in the future to do something positive for all of those people who have been a part of the Ennis Brass Band over 50 years.”

The motion was seconded by Mayor of Ennis Councillor Paul Murphy who said, “What the Ennis Brass Band has done over a long number of years has been exemplary.”

He backed hosting an acknowledgement of the band “when the time is right.”

Councillor Mary Howard also voiced her support describing the band as “a massive asset to the town and the whole county”.

She complimented the Ennis Brass Band for its sense of community, recalling their involvement in events such as annual Christmas concerts and St Patrick’s Day parade.

“They are all volunteers and I walk past the community school in the evening and I hear them practising, there is huge dedication to do that without any financial gain, they just do it because they love it. They are an integral part of Ennis and a part we are very proud of.”

She said while the Council may not be able to honour the band “in the normal way” right now, she suggested in the meantime that a letter of congratulations be sent to the band to outline the council’s appreciation “for everything they do for the community”.

Councillor Pat Daly commented, “As an Ennis man I am very, very proud of the Ennis Brass Band. They have been outstanding at events over many, many years.”

He paid tribute to the McAllister family in particular for their contribution to the Ennis Brass Band over the years.

The important role the Ennis Brass Band has played in “raising the spirits of the town and people at events” was recalled by Councillor Johnny Flynn.

He added that there are many families who have played a central role in the band saying, “it is worthwhile for us to acknowledge them”.

Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy also paid tribute to the McAllisters, saying the family are “the heart and spirit of the band”.

She voiced support for the proposal to write to the band indicating the intention to host a celebration at the appropriate time.

Councillor Norton acknowledged the support of the council for the hosting of an event to mark the 50th anniversary. She expressed the hope that this could be achieved within the term of the current council.

“It needs to be noted and remembered,” she concluded.

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