Artane Band

 

Sir, – At Monday’s monthly Dublin City Council meeting, Cllr Mannix Flynn proposed a motion asking the Lord Mayor to end her patronage of the Artane Band.

Mr Flynn said his reasoning for tabling the motion is that the uniform and flag of the band “represent symbols of oppression” of the atrocities that were committed against vulnerable children in the St Joseph’s Industrial School and all other industrial schools around the country.

This is not the first time Mr Flynn has tabled motions against the Artane Band, previously calling for it to be disbanded.

The band itself has gone through many changes since the time of the industrial school and has been a source of great pride for the community of Artane, and the band’s wider musical diaspora.

Nobody is denying that the abuses carried out against the children in the industrial schools were unforgivable crimes.

However, removing the Lord Mayor’s patronage of the Artane Band would take away the positive symbol of hope, culture and community that the Artane Band, and in turn the Artane School of Music, has become.

The children, volunteers and staff involved in the band should not be punished, but should instead be held up as a shining example of how welcoming and inclusive community organisations and schools can be. – Yours, etc,

GAVIN BRENNAN,

Dublin 1.