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Scout Bands were always popular in Ireland both in the C.B.S.I. and S.A.I. and it was and still is common to see a Scout Band lead the local or county G.A.A. team out for a match. Probably the most well-known Scout Band in Ireland is the De La Salle Scout Pipe Band making its first appearance when it led De La Salle Scouts on a parade to the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Waterford City on the 15th of May 1934 and the Band is still going strong today.

Below is a list of Scout Bands by County that we could identify as having being in existence since the founding of the Scout movement in 1907.

Antrim

  • Saint Peterís Belfast Scout Band.
  • Saint Patrick's Boy Scout Band Belfast
  • Saint Malachy's Scout Pipe Band Belfast

Armagh

  • Armagh Catholic Boy Scouts Band

2nd Cavan C.B.S.I. 

The 2nd Cavan C.B.S.I. Troop formed a band in 1936 which was still making public appearances in 1965. The main instruments of the band were Harmonic and Accordion with percussion provided by a base and at time side drums.


The Band leading out the teams at an Ulster V Munster GAA match.

Over the years the instruments varied and at times the band were all accordion. In 1953 the band made a record and in 1955 played on the Radio Eireann.


The band aster their Radio Eireann appearance:

(front row from left) Fergal Moore, Francis Farrelly, Tony Dowd, Gerard Carroll, Brian Finlay.

Back row: Sean Smith, Eddie Kirby, Eamonn Brady, Oliver Cassidy and Terry Smith.

Clare

  • Ennis Catholic Boy Scouts Band
  • Kilrush Boy Scouts Band played at the Kilrush Festival in August 1971.

Cork
  • Youghal Scout Band
Derry (Londonderry)

  • Limavady Scout band founded by Father Donnelly sometime in the 1980s.

Dublin
  • 3rd Dublin, Donnybrook, under George Purcell and his brother Pipe Major Leo Purcell. This band started in 1929 and played until the late 1960s. In August 1950 a group of Boy Scouts of America led by National Director of the U.S. Catholic Scout Committee Reverend George A. Dowd on their way back from a visit to Rome arrived in Dun Laoghaire were they were greeted by the Donnybrook Scout Pipe band.
  • 6th 27th 47th Dublin Saint Michaels and Saint Johns, Essex Quay, under Archie Steel who had served with a Highland Regiment of the British Army.
  • 61st Dublin Merchants Quay (Adam and Eveís Franciscan Friary). In 1964 a member of the 61st Dublin Merchants Quay C.B.S.I. Pipe Band was playing a set of Pipes once owned by the Irish playwright Sean OíCasey who was in 1912 president of the Saint Laurence OíToolís Pipe Band.
  • Clarendon Street Pipers
  • Saint Judeís Boy Scout Band C.B.S.I. Drumcondra (1964)

  • Saint Michanís Fife and Drum Band

Fermanagh

  • Enniskillen Scout Brass Band (Saint Michael's). Played at the Saint Patrickís Day Parade in March 1985. The Band was under the charge of Mr. Bernard OíConnor Erne Region Commissioner.

Galway

  • Tuam Catholic Boy Scouts Pipe Band. In 1950 the Band was under the direction of Scoutmaster P. J. Grealish Assistant Scoutmaster Brendan McEnnis.

Kerry

  • Tralee Catholic Boy Scouts Brass and Reed Band (Bandmaster Mr. Hennessy 1940).

    The band made its first public appearance at the Corpus Christi procession in 1937 and in 1938 played the Galway and Kerry teams around Croke Park in the All Ireland Football Final, the match was a draw but the band had the honour of playing at the reply which Galway won 2-4 to 0-7.

  • Ballybunion C.B.S.I. Band Scoutmaster Mr. John J. Stokes, Mr. Jimmy Stokes accomplished drummer and piper who was instructor with the Band. The band was made up of ten pipers and seven drummers. The Band was part of the 10th Kerry (Ballybunion).
  • Kerry Girl Guides Band. In November 1950 it was announced that the Catholic Girl Guides of Ireland had formed a band in Kerry.

Limerick

  • Saint Maryís Catholic Boy Scouts Pipe Band founded in 1930.
  • De La Salle Scout Pipe band founded in 1934 and still playing today.

Mayo
  • Ballina C.B.S.I. Band was in existence around 1939.
  • Westport Scout Band founded about 1934 made their first public appearance at the Gaelic Hall Westport.

Monaghan

  • Clones Scout Band C.S.I. took part in the Saint Patrickís Day parade after mass in Clones town in March 1992.

Tipperary

  • Tipperary Boy Scouts Band.
  • Borrisokane Catholic Boy Scouts Band Scout Master Martin OíMeara, played at Moneygall Hurling Tournament in 1945.
  • Cashel Catholic Boy Scouts Band
  • Roscrea Boy Scouts Pipe Band pictured in Ennis County Clare in 1932.

  • Nenagh Boy Scouts Band founded on Saint Patrickís Day 1935 and played until about 1938 or 1939.

Waterford
  • Abbeyside C.B.S.I. Pipe Band Dungarvan. Dungarvan Scout Pipe band. Founded by noted musician Nicky Shanahan probably best known for playing the Pipes at the funeral of John F Kennedy. He founded the band in his youth before leaving Dungarvan for the US where he joined the US Air Force and played for many years in the Drum and Pipe Corps.
  • Waterford City Boy Scouts Band C.B.S.I. 1969 Saint Patrick's Day parade.

Westmeath

  • Clara Boy Scouts Band under Mr. John Kelly and Mr. Kevin Towhey Saint Patrickís Day 1972.

Wicklow

1st Greystones Pipe Band

Lord Powerscourtís Own

The earliest records of Scouting in Wicklow show a Patrol of Boy Scouts in existence in the early months of 1908. The earliest records of the 1st Greystones Scout Troop date from 1917 when the Troop was being run by 17 year old Robert (Bob) Figgis. The Pipe Band began sometime in the latter half of 1928 and remained playing until the beginning of the Second World War. The Greystones band was the first Scout band in Ireland. The band played at many events over their 12 years history. The band played an Irish Air for Baden-Powell when he visited the Irish contingent at the 3rd World Jamboree held at Arrow Park (see World Jamborees) and also attended the 4th World Scout Jamboree in Hungry in 1933. They also played at the 1937 Coronation Review in London where they met and shook hands with King George VI. In 1937 the band was renamed the 1st Greystones Rover Pipe Band. The band also played at many local events including the funeral of the Earl of Meath who held the unique position of having served as Chief Commissioner of Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State.


The uniform of the band was green Scout shirt and dark green kilt, grey stockings with green turn-downs, green garter tabs and a leather sporran. The neckerchief/scarf was red with a white lanyard running under the shoulder tabs of the shirt. Initially the band wore the wide brimmed Baden-Powell hat but this was soon changed for a green beret with green headband.

After the band returned from the 3rd World Rover Scout Moot held in Scotland in August 1939 Britain declared war on Germany on the 3rd of September 1939. The band remained in existence until the early months of 1940 but with many members leaving both the band and the Rover Troop to join up both the band and the Rovers were forced to close.

The Band in World War Two
Eight Greystones Scouts served with the Royal Air Force during the 2nd World War.

Sidney Gethings

Victor Gethings

Geoffrey Roland (Ronnie) Gethings

Joseph (Joe) Towell

Bertie Griffin

Thomas (Tommy) Hamilton

Harold (Harry) Scott

Clifford Bowyer

 

Killed in Action

  • Geoffrey Roland Gethings. Pilot Officer Observer, 120940, 502 Squadron (Ulster) R.A.F. Volunteer Reserve. He was killed when his Whitley Bomber Z9192 crashed as it attempted to land at R.A.F. St. Eval in Cornwall on the 30th of July 1942. The entire crew of eleven men died in the crash. He is buried in St. Columb Major Cemetery about seven miles from St. Eval Cornwall. He was 22 years old and the youngest of the Gethings brothers, he was married with a son also called Geoffrey.

  • Clifford Charles John Bowyer. Squadron Leader 118812, 15 Squadron, R.A.F. Volunteer Reserve. He was killed over Barlo in occupied Holland on the 14th of May 1943 when his Stirling LS-Z number BK704 was hit by flak and exploded on crashing, his crew managed to bail-out and were captured and became prisoners of war. He is buried in Reichwald Forest Cemetery Germany (grave reference 21. B. 15.), he was 21 years old and the Son of Percy George and Vera May Bowyer, of Greystones, Co. Wicklow.

  • Henry Donal Scott. Warrant Officer Pilot, 981101, 19th Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He is buried in Belgrade War Cemetery Serbia. He was 23 years old and the Son of J. E. Scott and Saidie Scott, of Greystones, Co. Wicklow. He was studying medicine at Trinity College Dublin before joining the Air Force and was a past pupil of Wesley College Dublin where he is remembered on their World War Two memorial plaque.

The three are remembered on the Saint Patrickís Church of Ireland Church Memorial in Greystones County Wicklow.