ST Patrick’s Pipe Band will perform at a specially organised traditional music session in The Mills Tavern, O’Callaghan’s Mills on Saturday, with proceeds going towards their trip to the New York St Patrick’s Day Parade.
Also known as the Tulla Pipe Band, St Patrick’s Pipe Band have been invited by the New York Clare Association to join them in celebrating their 125th anniversary at the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York.
The fundraising concert takes place at 9pm on Saturday and Paula Carroll will be the MC. The event has been organised by Councillor Joe Cooney and Carmel Hall, whose son, David, is in the band.
Speaking about the support that people are showing for the band, Pam O’Reilly PRO for St Patrick’s Pipe Band said, “It is amazing and wonderful for the band to realise that their years of service have not gone unnoticed and that everyone is behind the band”.
“Just last week, the Tulla Vintage Association launched a DVD of the vintage day they held in Tulla and they are donating the proceeds to our trip. It is an amazing gesture on their part. The band has turned out for everything throughout the county, whether it is a child winning a medal or whether it’s Davy Fitzgerald and the Clare team winning the All-Ireland. Everyone gets the support of the band,” she said.
The band’s forthcoming trip led to a long line of calls for funding to be provided at this week’s Clare County Council meeting, when all the members of the Killaloe Electoral Area, as well as Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins, Councillor Tony Mulqueen and Councillor Paul Murphy all called for the council to give financial support to the band.
The mayor highlighted that the band has been present at nearly every major event in the county in an 80-year period. He highlighted that the band, as Clare’s only pipe band, would be great ambassadors for the county, particularly as 2014 marked a milestone for the Clare Association in New York.
“This trip presents a wonderful opportunity to place County Clare and the band in the centre of it all,” he said.
The motions were supported by the majority of the council and it was agreed that rather than trying to provide financial assistance from the 2013 Budget, the matter would be deferred to the January meeting to look at what could be provided from the 2014 Budget.
Councillor Arkins said, “Will we defer to January 8 in the hopes that we can get some funding from the Department of Environment and Local Government, rather than scraping the dregs of the 2013 budget because we want to get decent funding for the band”.
Councillor Pat Hayes, who tabled the initial motion, said, “It is great to see this getting the support of every councillor”.
Commenting on the support aired at the local authority meeting, Ms O’Reilly said, “It is fantastic and adds weight to the band and endorses what we are doing and shows that they see the importance of it representing County Clare but also Ireland because we are one of the few bands to have survived since 1936. Since then, we have always been there, whether the numbers were down to two or three or a band of 25 making it to the Aviva. It feels great that they are trying to help us to achieve the dream.”
There are three band members who have over 57 years service in the band and Pam said next year presents a fantastic opportunity for them in particular, who have seen the band grow over the years.
“It will be beyond anything they thought they could do,” she said.
Ms O’Reilly concluded that irrespective of what is raised for the trip, the band has every intention of going. “By hook or by crook we will be going,” she said.