The establishment of St Patrick's Band was announced in "The Galway Express", a local news paper on Saturday morning, October 10 1896. read. Michael Spelman, Peter Rabbitt and Paddy Walsh as young men founded the original fife and drum band and each remained heavily involved with the band for the rest of their lives.
The first St. Patrick's day parade in Galway was lead by the band 1903, and by 1906 The Forster Street
band had become known as St. Patrick's Fife & Drum Band. Well established in a premises on the present day site at Frenchville
Lane, Galway, by January 1909 The Galway Express said: "...This band has been pronounced one of the best of its
kind in the province..." also noting the large addition made to
the bandroom to accommodate the increasingly large number of members. The new brass and reed band developed further in 1911, undergoing a "makeover" with the purchase of new instruments and uniforms. more...
The band continued to flourish but was
forced to close during the war of independence. Following the truce of 1921 the band was resurrected and played
at the British withdrawal and handover of Renmore barracks
ceremony in 1922. The band was involved with most of Galway's major events
during the 20s, most notably playing at the first live outside
radio broadcast in November 1927. more...
In 1932, the band purchased the site at Frenchville Lane, which remains the location of the present day bandroom. World War II
forced another period of hibernation, although members played for L.D.F. march drills
in Galway. The 1940s saw the deaths of two of the original founding members, Paddy Walsh (1940) and
Peter Rabbitt (1942) And by the 1950s the band was again back in action under the bandmaster
Michael Mitchell with young people like Pat O'Sullivan becoming
members. During the late 1950s emigration forced the band to close
again for a few years, but by 1961 St. Patrick's Band Society was once more on the streets of Galway
revived by people like Fr. George Quinn P.P., John F. King, Murtagh
Rabbitt, Paddy Henegan, Tom Feeney, Michael Mitchell, Mickey
Spelman, Tommy Joyce and many others.
St. Patrick's Band has had a long and eventful history, and the above is merely a brief synopsis. We are however currently updating our historical records, so if you, or someone you know was once involved in any capacity with the band, and you have any interesting photos or stories, or just a general comment, please navigate to our contacts page
here... and drop us a line, we'd love to hear from you.