Tuesday 16 January 2018

We won't change name over industrial school past, says Artane Band

The Artane band
The Artane band

The famous Artane Band has rejected calls for it to change its name due to historical ties to St Joseph's Industrial School.

The band - which often plays before the main matches at Croke Park - is highly regarded for their talent.

A city councillor has now called for the band to change its name because of its historical links to St Joseph's Industrial School and institutional abuse.

Independent Mannix Flynn, who was in the industrial school during the 1960s, has placed a motion ahead of the South East Area Committee meeting to call for the name to be changed.

The original Artane boys' band was formed by the Christian Brothers at St Joseph's Industrial School in 1872.


The school closed in 1969 and the band became a community band.

Mr Flynn said he has the support of hundreds of people who do not agree with the band still carrying the Artane name.

However, the Artane Band has rejected the suggestion.

Keith Kelly, general manager at the Artane School of Music, shut down any suggestions the band would be renamed.

"Any proposal to change the Artane Band's name wouldn't be considered," Mr Kelly told the Herald.

"We're proud of our organisation, where we've come from and where we are going to. We are also proud of each member that has, and is, marching with their crest and uniform.

"The Christian Brothers haven't been involved in the place since 1969. We're an organisation that has come a long way since the industrial school closed.

"I would struggle to name a band in the country that doesn't have the title of their community in that band."

Mr Kelly revealed the changes in the organisation have been "monumental" and that a lay-board forms the board of management.

The band leader said that younger members in the band were "very upset" about Councillor Flynn's call to change its name.

Mr Kelly also said the councillor didn't approach the band to relay his concerns.

"I would have been more than happy to show Mannix Flynn the great work the Artane School of Music does.

"We take child protection incredibly importantly," said Mr Kelly.

Mr Flynn last night said that it was extremely important for the band to consider its legacy.

He said he imagined the bands rejection to change its name would "create outrage".

"It's not appropriate that the Artane Band, using the present name, would take to the field in Croke Park," said My Flynn.

"This is very simple … the band is directly linked with the horrors of Artane.

"For many of us who were in that industrial school, it is no longer appropriate for that name to be attached to the band.

"I was hoping the band and the management would have changed the name a long time ago, but they haven't."

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