Tuesday 16 September 2014

Breathing new life into the piping tradition in mid Kerry

Published 03/04/2013 | 05:36

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Mike Cahillane as St Patrick with Pat Pigott and Mike Dowd of the Killorglin Pipe Band participating in the St Patrick's Day Parade Killorglin on Sunday. Photo: Michelle Cooper Galvin.

FOSTERING the piping tradition in mid Kerry and enhancing the cultural life of the district, Killorglin and District Pipe Band has been a revelation since it reformed in 2010.

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While Killorglin had always been associated with Puck Fair and Laune Rangers, between 1945 and the mid-1960s the town was also famous for its own pipe band which played countywide. Emigration and other factors eventually saw the band finish up but almost half a century later - in October 2010 - a public meeting was held and the unanimous sentiment was to reform.

Helped by neighbouring pipe bands in Newcastlewest, Valentia, Cullen and Tralee, progression was fast and the band was ready for the unveiling of the railway monument in Iveragh Road, Killorglin in July 2011.

In just three short years Killorglin and District Pipe Band has become ever-present, attending a variety of occasions such as Puck Fair, St Patrick's Day, Rose of Tralee, Halloween and Christmas celebrations, as well as a large array of sporting events.

"Our members are from the local community and many started out from a raw base with little or no experience of music," Chairman Pat Pigott reveals.

"We have actively engaged with local organisations and charities to enhance the cultural and social life of the mid Kerry area. Indeed, in 2012 alone we had 51 outings," he adds.

The band now aims to provide full band uniforms for all playing members and to upgrade facilities at the band room which is currently provided free of charge by Edso Crowley.

"We are holding classes to introduce new members to piping and drumming and to further advance existing members," Pat continues.


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