The Artane Band and GAA celebrate a 130 year partnership
On June 14th the Artane Band and the GAA will celebrate a 130 year partnership that has come to define big match days in Croke Park.
The relationship began at the Whit Monday games on June 14th in 1886. The GAA was still a fledgling organization at that time. The games were held at the North Circular Road grounds, and due to their proximity to the event, the Artane School Band was engaged to entertain the crowd. What followed was a thirteen decade partnership and friendship that continues to grow in strength.
The sight and sounds of the Artane Band have become synonymous with the GAA end of season finals, and the parade of teams to this day, is a unique mix of Irish sporting and cultural pageantry. Many stars of Gaelic games over the years have mentioned the importance of marching behind “the band”- for some, it was an opportunity to look for family or friends in the stands, for others, an opportunity to check out their opposite number, but for all, a time to take in all the drama, colour and noise of a packed Croke Park.
The Artane Band, in their famous blue and scarlet, will march into the future proud of its association with the GAA, and will, on this 130th anniversary, play a little louder and prouder in celebration of a unique and historic combination of sporting and musical excellence.
Aogán Ó Fearghail – Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael
“Few institutions are as synonymous with Cumann Lúthchleas Gael as the Artane Band and I’m delighted to acknowledge the special milestone that is the celebration of 130 years of musical excellence at our games. On June 14, 13 decades will have elapsed since the Artane School Band first performed at one of our fixtures, on Whit Monday on the North Circular Road. It was the start of a relationship that has endured and the sight of the famed blue and scarlet tunics on our pitches, especially for the parade on the big days in our calendar, has been part of our match day experience for generations of our members and supporters. We are delighted to support them and I sincerely wish them every success for the next 130 years.”
Páraic Ó Dufaigh – Ard Stiúrthóir Chumann Lúthchleas Gael
“The Artane Band and the School of Music has helped provide young people with a focus and a passion through the vehicle of music since 1872 – 12 years before the foundation of the GAA itself. This month we celebrate a relationship that spans 130 years and that one that is highly valued by the Association. Over that period their contribution to our games and our match day presentation has been immense, entertaining as they have legions of our followers and adding style, appeal and panache to our games year-in, year-out. We look forward to working with them as trustees for many years to come.”
Con Hogan, Chairman, Artane School of Music Board of Management
“The Artane Band has, through its long involvement with the GAA on major sporting occasions, become part of what is unique and symbolic of the Irish way of life. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising it is appropriate to reflect on the association between the Band and the
GAA that goes back a further 30 years and must surely have contributed to the revival of the National spirit in the lead-up to that historic and transformative event in the life of the Nation.”