Founded in 1948, the Fianna Phádraig Pipe Band is North-West England’s oldest active Irish pipe band
From the early days in St. John’s parish, in Benchill, South Manchester, and then at St. Anthony’s from the mid-fifties, the Band has always carried with pride the Fianna Phádraig (Followers of St. Patrick) banner.
When the Fianna Phádraig Pipe Band was first established nearly 75 years ago, who would have thought that it would still be going strong in 2022? Throughout its 7 decades and more, the band has travelled far and wide, throughout the UK, over to Ireland, of course, but also throughout Western Europe, playing in Folklore Festivals and commemorations in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Italy, Spain, …
The band has become well-known in its local area, taking part in community events, parades, garden parties, and raising money for numerous charities. It has a long history of support for its local parishes and community, raising thousands of pounds for various charities, including Wythenshawe Hospital League of Friends, St. Ann’s Hospice, The Rainbow Trust (Francis House).
The Charity supported by the band this year is St. Ann’s Hospice, the region’s biggest establishment caring for cancer patients in their final days and weeks.
The band’s members are mainly of Irish origin, with Irish parents, grand-parents and great grand-parents. In more recent times, the band has embraced the 21st century, championing equality in all its forms. Accordingly, membership is open to one and all, irrespective of creed, origin, gender, political opinion, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental capacity…
In 1966, the band took part in a parade in Dublin, in the presence of Eamon de Valera, President of the Irish Republic, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, popularly known as the Easter Rising. Fifty years later, in 2016, the band returned to Dublin for the centenary of the Rising. Four band members who made the initial trip in 1966 also played at the one hundredth anniversary.
The band is proud of its Anglo-Irish identity. Many of us have family members who have fallen in conflicts all over the globe, fighting for the British Army or for Irish Independence. We are comfortable with this dual identity; it’s what makes the Fianna Phádraig Pipe Band quite unique: a pinch of English, a touch of Irish and an instrument widely recognized as Scottish!
We remember our fallen whether it be at Arbour Hill in Dublin, or the Thiepval Monument in the Somme.