Finishing touches to Artane Band hall as they tune up for final parade
Published 18/09/2015 | 02:30
Finishing touches have been put to both the All-Ireland rehearsals and a renovated hall for the Artane Band.
The refurbishments to the Artane School of Music and Band's hall finished days before the world-famous group takes to Croke Park for the face-off between Dublin and Kerry.
New acoustic soundboards, fresh licks of blue and red paint and large photos of current band members have all been rolled out.
The band's general manager, Keith Kelly, has been an active member since he joined at the age of seven.
Although some renovations were carried out in 2000, Mr Kelly (31) said that the latest improvements made a huge difference for band members.
"When you came into the building here, it was dull and lifeless," he said.
"Now you walk into this building and it represents the organisation. You have the provincial flags up there. You have the crest everywhere, the colours blue and red and then the iconic images of the band."
Mr Kelly has performed at 22 All-Ireland finals and said the experience of leading the teams on the pitch was always amazing.
"To do the parade of the teams, and to march up to any of the stands and have the crowd just roar for their team is just amazing," he said.
Band member Michaela Roche (19) from Glasnevin also said she was looking forward to playing in Croke Park.
"It's always a bit more special when Dublin's playing," she said. "The cheers are louder and fans more enthusiastic."
The renovations were supported by Marks and Spencer's 'Spark Something Good' initiative, which saw the space painted and cleaned by a team of contractors and volunteers.
Peggie Moore, a Marks and Spencer store manager, led the volunteers that painted the Artane Band hall.