Chair hosts reception to mark the centenary of Kirlish Pipe band

25th March 2022

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The Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council recently hosted a reception to mark the centenary of Kirlish Pipe Band. Please see below, text of the Chair’s address at the event.

Distinguished guests, Councillors, Ladies and gentlemen 

As Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I would like to welcome you all here this evening to Strule Arts Centre for this reception to recognise the 100th anniversary of Kirlish Pipe Band.

I understand Kirlish was a flute band in its formative years until 1921 when it purchased bagpipes and it has been part of the community in Drumquin ever since.  The band is one of 9 pipe bands in the area and is associated with Kirlish Orange Lodge LOL 380.  The members are all from the local community and of various ages and, although small in number, the band is renowned for its sharp, sweet tone generated from the pipes and drums giving greater depth and volume.

As well as teaching the skills of piping and drumming, being in a band also teaches you a variety of valuable skills including teamwork and better communication whilst at the same time building confidence and having fun.

Music is not created by one note but a variety of notes coming together in harmony and similarly a band relies on various members coming together and depending on each other each time you go on parade and perform.  Being part of a band is special because it is a unique family and gives you the opportunity to make lifelong friendships and memories, both within the band and at events.  Therefore, I would encourage you to continue playing together and encourage other young people to join to ensure that Kirlish Pipe Band continues for generations to come and others have the opportunity to be a part of this special intergenerational experience and ensure the culture and heritage is maintained.

George Parks, University of Massachusetts Band Director and Drum Major once said, “A band is not proud to perform well, it performs well because it is proud” and I believe this to be true of Kirlish Pipe Band.

I would like to take the opportunity to commend all the members, past and present, for your commitment and dedication which has sustained Kirlish Pipe Band in a rural area for the last 100 years. Each of you can be proud of the history of the band and the part that you have played in it and establishing the name of Kirlish Pipe Band locally and further afield.

In closing I wish to congratulate you all on achieving this milestone anniversary and wish you every success for the future so the band can continue to grow from strength to strength.