Artane Band

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Artane Band
Artane Band.jpg
SchoolArtane School of Music
LocationSt David's Park, Artane, Dublin, Ireland
FoundedApril 1871; 150 years ago (1871-04)
DirectorRonan O'Reilly

The Artane Band (Irish: Banna Ard Aidhin)[1][2] is a marching band for young musicians based at the Artane School of Music in Artane in Dublin, Ireland.


The band was originally called the Artane Boys Band, with members drawn from the pupils at Artane Industrial School, an industrial school which closed in 1969.[3] Its name changed to "Artane Band" in 2004 when girls were first admitted.[4]


Foundation and ethos[edit]

The band was formed in 1872 and first performed in public in 1874 for the visiting Prince of Wales, later Edward VII.[5]

While it was still known as the Artane Boys Band, Larry Mullen Jr (drummer and founder of U2) played with them,[6] learning military-style beats which he incorporated into many U2 songs.[citation needed][original research?] The Hothouse Flowers Saxophonist Leo Barnes and Robert Arkins of The Commitments, were also members of the band.[7]

It became well known for playing at Croke Park at major matches of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), playing before the match and at the half time interval, and leading the All-Ireland final teams' pre-match procession around the pitch.[8][3][9] Its first GAA matches were on Whit Monday 1886,[9][3] and the association encouraged spectators to sing "Amhrán na bhFiann" and other Irish songs to the band's accompaniment; this reflected a commitment to cultural nationalism shared by the GAA and the Christian Brothers who ran the school.

Artane School allegations[edit]

Allegations of historical child abuse at Artane Industrial School were publicised in the 1990s and confirmed by the 2009 report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.[3] However, the commission's report said the band had been a positive experience for its members.[4] There were calls for the band to change its name to break the association with the discredited institution.[3] The current band management regard its name as relating to the Artane district and not the defunct industrial school.[3]

Recent activities[edit]

The band played at the Oxegen 2009 music festival.[4] In 2011, the band performed during Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Croke Park.[10] 2015 seen the establishment of the Artane Youth Choir for secondary school students, and the Adult Artane Community Choir. In 2016 the organisation celebrated its "130 year partnership" with the GAA.[11] In 2018, following "extensive renovations", the hall was officially reopened by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring.[12]

Other groups[edit]

The Artane Senior Band was founded in 1988 to provide former youth members with the option to continue playing.[13] Since 2000, the band has also welcomed adults who had not previously been youth members of the Artane Band.[13] The adult band performed at the 2015 Munster Hurling Final, as well as at charity fundraising concerts for Pieta House and the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation.[citation needed]

The Artane Community Choir was formed in September 2015,[14] and competed at the 2015 Navan Choral Festival, and in the National Concert Hall.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "19/11/2013 : Seolann an tAire Deenihan Plean Straitéiseach Cheolscoil Ard Aidhin 2013 - 2016 i bPáirc an Chrócaigh - An Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta".
  2. ^ seolinn_jessica_admin (30 September 2016). "SEO LINN'S HALF TIME PERFORMANCE AT CROKER".
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hilliard, Mark (5 September 2016). "Call to rebrand Artane Band due to 'trauma'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c McGreevy, Ronan (17 June 2009). "Artane Band set to take to the stage at Oxegen". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Corless, Damian (27 November 2011). "Legendary Artane band boy". Irish Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Sweeney, Eamon (8 November 2017). "Alice Cooper: 'Larry Mullen is the only drummer to ask me for my lyrics'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 14 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Obituary Joe Lynch Westmeath Independent, February 8, 2012.
  8. ^ Rouse, Paul (Spring–Summer 2008). "A Day Out in Dublin at the Hurling: The All-Ireland Hurling Final 2005, Cork vs. Galway". Éire-Ireland. 43 (1–2): 205–221. doi:10.1353/eir.0.0006.
  9. ^ a b "The Artane Band and GAA celebrate a 130 year partnership" (Press release). GAA. 15 June 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Queen Elizabeth begins second day of state visit The Journal,, May 18 2011.
  11. ^ "Meet Emily McDonnell - the first-ever woman to lead the Artane Band onto the All-Ireland football final pitch". Irish Independent. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Artane Band hall reopens following extensive renovation by Jack Power, Irish Times, October 16, 2018
  13. ^ a b Artane Senior Band - Brass Bands,
  14. ^ Artane Community Choir

External links[edit]