Irish Guard (Notre Dame)

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This article is about the Notre Dame pageantry troupe. For the British Army regiment, see Irish Guards. For the Republic of Ireland police force, see Garda Síochána.
The Irish Guard
Active 1949-Present
Country United States of America
Type Unit of authority
Role Escorting the Band of the Fighting Irish
Size 10 Guards
Tartan Notre Dame Plaid
Plume Yellow
Right side of Bearskin Shako

The Irish Guard is a group of uniformed students that leads the Band of the Fighting Irish onto the field at home games. They are considered one of the integral parts in the pageantry, lore, and legend of Notre Dame football.


The Irish Guard was formed in 1949 as a part of the University of Notre Dame Marching Band. The uniform of the guard is based on the pattern of the traditional Scottish kilt and incorporated the unique Notre Dame tartan.

They accompany the Fighting Irish Marching Band at away games throughout the season, and at all home games at Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish Guard often travels with the Band of the Fighting Irish to away games and marches with the band on campus. These traditions include the Victory Clog to the tune "Damhsa Bua" performed after every Irish football win.[1][page needed]. In 2014, Notre Dame Band Director Dr. Kenneth Dye announced several changes to the Guard, including a removal of the height requirement, enhanced element of service to the band and community, a requirement of musicianship or band managerial service, a term limit for guardsmen of one to two years, a removal of the "Inspection of the Guard," and prerequisite band experience for eligibility as a guardsman.[2]


Members of the Irish Guard must demonstrate a refined marching technique, a dedication to university ideals, and, most importantly, stature and poise.

These representatives of the Notre Dame Irish Guard do not seek public recognition for their service to the University or for the hours of work they put each day into maintaining the highest standards of excellence.

John Fyfe, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and former employee of the University of Notre Dame, provided members with background and experience as to the proper way to dress, march, and comport themselves in public. Mr. Fyfe taught the Guard to emulate the stoic and silent manner of the British Army's Foot Guards, including that of the Irish Guards.