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Dublin: 14 °C Friday 19 October, 2018

The Artane Band says it won't be changing its name despite industrial school history

A council motion has been tabled calling for it to change.

The Artane Band in Croke Park before to All-Ireland football semi-final.
The Artane Band in Croke Park before to All-Ireland football semi-final.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

THE ARTANE BAND has said that it won’t be changing its name ahead of a council motion that could ask the band to do so.

Dublin councillor Mannix Flynn has tabled the motion citing sensitivity around survivors who were abused in the former St Joseph’s Industrial School in Artane.

The Artane Boys Band, as it was then known, was founded in 1872 and was made up of boys from the Christian Brothers school until it closed in 1969.

In that same year membership was opened to all boys within the community and in the last 20 years the Artane School of Music has since opened up membership to girls.

Since its inception, the band has had close connections with the GAA and the band performs on the Croke Park pitch during match days.

It is for this reason that among the new names suggested for band have been the ‘GAA Band’ or the ‘All-Ireland Band’.

But the band’s general manager Keith Kelly told that the Artane Band is very much community-based and represents the Artane area in north Dublin.

“We’re named after the community in which we’re based and the parents, volunteers and band members. The connotation with Artane is the community that they’re from,” he says.

We’re not going to move the band. There isn’t a band in the country that isn’t named after the community in which they draw their membership from.

Kelly says that both he and the wider Artane School of Music are acutely aware of the hurt caused by industrial schools in the past but that changing their name would almost be a denial of that difficult history.

Instead he says that the Artane School of Music has now shown itself to be a “shining light” in advancing child welfare:

That’s why we’re incredibly proud of the momentous shift that has happened over the past number of decades and the work that we have done to become one of the leading organisations in child protection and child welfare.

Asked whether the Artane Band would change its name if the motion was passed, Kelly says he’s sure it would be discussed but that they would not be changing it.

Local people and councillors have also been lending their support to the Artane Band and its name.

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Rónán Duffy

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