Large Loughmacrory Band jet off to New York for Band’s St. Patrick’s Day parade
We are just two days away from another St. Patrick’s Day celebration and plans and preparations throughout the county of Tyrone, and much further beyond, are well and truly reaching the final stages.
For most there will be the excitement of local celebrations, parades, fancy dress, sporting and entertainment events and lots to embrace, cheer, smile about and of course providing reflections on St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Undoubtedly the greatest “Irish” Day of the year and it is well and truly celebrated the world over, not just within Ireland. That is most definitely the case in 2016 for the small vibrant community of Loughmacrory. The village has seen some remarkable progress in recent times and one very significant milestone has been in the reformation of the Loughmacrory Band – “Paisti Na Fingréine”.
CLICK Here or Below for Full In-depth feature on the trip together with interviews with Peter Kelly and Sean Curran on the Loughmacrory Band trip to New York City…
On Tuesday morning, the Loughmacrory Band departed from Dublin Airport to travel to New York City. The reason – well, they have been invited to parade in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the largest and most breathtaking of the parades throughout the World on this coming 17th March.
One of the leading figures within the Band and current Chairman of Loughmacrory Youth Club, Sean Curran, is very much steeped in a positive mindset around what can be achieved when people combine and put their minds to it.
“It is funny that the band going from a little place in County Tyrone to a massive world stage is a bit like Dynamo and his Magic – it seems a bit unreal but all of a sudden it is happening right in front of you. I have always said that the Lough ‘punches above its weight’ in every thing that it does. Never happy with the ordinary level of things, the Lough keeps raising the bar. Like the 80 hour handball marathon, the canoe marathon, ‘Turas ar Papa’ – the bike ride in the 80s. Even Loughmacrory building the 60 x 30 and being the first place in Ireland to tie a handball court with a youth and community association – that was when RTE came up and did a special feature on the occasion. There is also the fact that handballers from the Lough are not content now unless they win all Ireland and world titles. Our facilities are ahead of the game!
And we are pushing boundaries all the time, that what the Lough does – it pushes all the boundaries – look at the New York Trip! Our young teams demand to do better now and have a belief that there is no prize they can not win.”
And they are welcoming the prospect of the Loughmacroy Band too in New York with this clearly defined on the host page highlighting the biggest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world – Click Here to see what they are saying in NYC
While Sean has seen many fantastic days, trips and events with the Band over the years, there is no doubt that the Band’s oldest playing member, Peter Kelly, is just overcome with fervour and excitement when talking about the latest experience with the Band.
His experience from the day he was introduced to the music, playing in a many different bands and the transformation he has witnessed over the years is clearly immense.
“It started off when I was about 14 years of age and, along with Master Curran, back then we got involved in a wee local band. He played the bagpipes in the Band and I was a drummer back then. It went on for a few years before we moved on to ‘Lentys’ Band. That was the nickname for the “St. Patrick’s Band” and that was around the mid-fifties. I would have been involved there for many years and while I would have been back and forward to England working in that period, I always dropped back into the band when at home.
It was the seventies then that Peter Curran started the Band then in Loughmacrory, the Paistí Na Fingréine Band, and it played for a long number of years before going through a bit of a lean spell before being resurrected then again in the eighties with the opening of the new Chapel in Loughmacrory. There was huge excitement at the time surrounding the new chapel, the Bishop coming and a few people got together including myself, Peter John Ned and Mary Duff and decided we would bring the Band back together for the Opening. It was a great day and many people came back into the Band again that had been there before and it proved a big success. It was probably similar in many ways to what is happening now today, some thirty years later, with the big project happening and the Band coming back again for the whole special occasion.
We wish them well on their journey and you can tune into the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parades live on Irish TV (Channel 191) this coming Thursday 17th March 2016…
The Band members and group heading to New York are: Seamus Ward, Maeve McElduff, Noelle Toner, Claire Hughes, Cleoina Collins, Cait McCullagh, Martina Quinn, Maire McElhone, Tess Fox, Maria McCanny, Rosemary McElhone, Orla Lucas, Cora Fox, Sean Fox, Orla Fox, Briege Lynn, Sean Curran, Nuala McElduff, Mary McElduff, Eimear McElduff, Emma Fox, Marian McElduff, Padraig Donnelly, Peter Skeffington, Padraigin Kelly, Tony McElduff, Brendan Kelly, Martin Colgan, Peter Kelly, John Kelly, Declan McAleer, Rory O’Brien, Wishey McElduff, Moira Quinn, Cliodhna Toner, Cara Fox, Rioghnach McAleer, Cora McElduff, Megan Hempenstall, Eoin Donaghy, Hannah Colgan, Anna Hempenstall, Niall Kelly, Aimee Kelly, Rónán Fox, Kate Fox, Anna Kelly, Peter Colgan.