Saint Patrick's Brass Band Society, 1961.
March 27th, 2008
There cannot be many institutions in Galway who have given as much pleasure to the general public as Saint Patrick's Brass Band. It was founded in 1896 in Forster Street by Peter Rabbitt, a Forster Street publican who was noted as a musician, Michael Spelman who worked in Moons and Paddy Walsh, the station master. They took the name from the parish in which they started. It was originally a fife and drum band until 1908, when they changed to brass and reed. They were always a well supported band, with thirty six members in 1912, drawn from all walks of life. They travelled widely to parades, dances and concerts.
Mick Browne was the first bandmaster, Patsy Glennon took over in 1908, to be followed by Paddy Griffin in 1924 and then Dan Kelly and Bill Jones. They were the first brass and reed band to play on Radio Eireann. Their first bandroom was in Gannon's sittingroom in Forster Street. Instruments were purchased in London, and some were presented by friends of the band. In 1912, secondhand uniforms were purchased in Moons. The band now provided a simple bandroom on the present site with the help of volunteers. The floor tiles were brought across from the disused Fever Hospital outside the harbour.
The band were unable to function during the Black and Tan period, during the second world war and for a time in the fifties when the membership was decimated by emigration . In September 1959, a new committee was formed with the aim of reviving the band. Included in the group were the Mayor, Peter Greene , Fr. George Quinn , John Francis King , Patrick Hennigan , Murty Rabbitt , Michael Mitchell (bandmaster) and J. Doherty (assistant bandmaster). The band reappeared for the first time on Saint Patrick's Day 1961 (at which time this photograph was taken) and received a warm welcome.
They are, back row, left to right; Jimmy Noone , Michael Noone , Kevin Crowley , Kieran Dooley , Stephen Conneely , Mairtin Daly , Tom Feeney , Pat Tuohy.
Middle row ; Martin Tuohy , Gabriel Walshe , Mickey Heenan , Cyril Dooley ,Tommy McDonagh , Michael Tomkins , Paul Harlowe , ---------------- , Ger McLoughlin , Mickey Spelman , Colm Leonard , Aidan Walsh .
In front are Dominic O'Halloran , Paddy Hannon , Mick Harlow , Paul Kelly , Paddy McDonagh , Michael Mitchell (Bandmaster) , Cyril Fullard , Raymond Kavanagh , Mick O'Toole, Paddy Walsh and Anthony Canavan.
Our thanks to Paddy Walsh for this photograph.
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