Stand Up For The Boys In Blue



The Artane Boys’ Band en route to America in 1962; the image was on an album in 1969

Last week, it was reported that Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn, a former resident of the St Joseph’s Industrial School in Artane, was putting a motion down calling for the Artane Band to be renamed.

The original Artane Boys’ Band was established by the Christian Brothers at St Joseph’s in 1872 and started to become involved with the GAA in 1886.

Mr Flynn was reported as saying:

“It’s an absolute insult to those of us who are still trying to recover. When you go to Croke Park and that band marches out, we are constantly reminded.”

Further to this, two days ago, Mr Flynn released a statement that he is changing his motion and, instead of asking for the band to be renamed, he’s calling for the Artane School of Music to be disbanded.

In his statement, he said his new motion is as follows:

That this monthly meeting of Dublin City Council, mindful of the shameful legacy of institutional abuse in industrial schools documented in the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse, call on the Artane School of Music to disband as a matter of human rights.

The School of Music is an establishment jointly run by the Christian Brothers and the GAA, yet encompasses the original and traditional insignia and uniforms that hark back to an age of chronic sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the religious.

The Artane Boys’ Band was used as a front to hide the gross inhumanity that took place at St Joseph’s School in Artane and other industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers at home and abroad.

The harrowing memories of these institutions for abuse victims are regularly flaunted without care or recognition at national sporting events in Croke Park in the form of the present Artane band.

A disbandment of the trust would sever all ties with the former industrial school and its brutal history and in doing so, would acknowledge the ongoing collective suffering of so many.

Further to this, the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr has released the following statement this afternoon, ahead of this weekend’s All Ireland Football Final:

“Congratulations to The Artane Band on their 130 years of proud association with the GAA and Croke Park. I urge all Dublin fans attending the big match on Sunday to show their support and appreciation for the ‘other’ boys and girls in blue, as they entertain us all and march in front of the parade of both teams at Sunday’s final.”

“Please show your support by giving them a special cheer of appreciation for their unwavering and dedicated service and commitment to the GAA and the fans over the years.”

Statement: Disband the Artane Band (Mannix Flynn)

Call to rebrand Artane Band due to ‘trauma’ (Mark Hilliard, Irish Times)

Artane School of Music

Pic: Mannix Flynn

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45 thoughts on “Stand Up For The Boys In Blue

  1. Harry Molloy

    Should we disband the state too who were also complicit?
    Disband being Irish also, as the Irish people were certainly complicit

  2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    “…to disband as a matter of human rights.”
    Human rights. One of the most abused phrases in the English language.

    1. forfeckssake

      Is this a reference to Mannix Flynn being a victim of clerical sexual abuse as a child? This comment should be removed.

  3. gallantman

    Sure we’ve moved on from all this. Not acknowledged it, faced up to it or dealt with it. Just moved on from it.

    1. Nigel

      I’m so glad you’ve found a vector which allows you to mock abuse survivors for being abuse survivors. You’re execrable, but I’m glad all the same. This was always going to be the ultimate logic of the ‘hur hur millennials hur hur trigger warnings’ stuff.

  4. Clampers Outside!

    Is this just himself…. or has he consulted with other ex-band members?

    There was a kid fiddled with in my school…. and I now have a box of matches, and vengence on my mind…. it’s the only way to be sure.
    * Lights candle, and prays *

  5. Anomanomanom

    Listen, they we’re sick bastards, especially in Artane. But nothing is off limits when joking. I find plenty of things sickening but iv no time for PC and would joke about anything .

    1. Nigel

      Then you should be happy when people find you as horrible and revolting and disgusting as your humour makes you out to be!

  6. Alan

    There were kids abused where I went to school 30 years ago. The priest in question was convicted, jailed and defrocked. Do I now insist that the school closes 30 years later and all the kids there nowadays go to a different school. ? No!! What is it to do with them. What’s next, shutting modern Germany down because of what the Nazis did?

    1. ahjayzis

      It would be nice if the religious organisations involved in covering up thousands of abuse cases were moved on from managing the same schools though. Spesh since they continue to this day to not pay a penny towards the compensation bill.

      I mean if it was Educate Together they’d have been shut down and re-patroned overnight.

      Jus’ sayin’.

      1. :-Joe

        & Keep saying it cause you’re bang on the money.

        Even though what you’re saying is clearly obvious, it’s also obviously clear that some people have lost the ability to think straight?!?!

        Rebrand it, close it, burn it down or whatever but get the filthy hands of the religious fundamentalist perpetrators away from it.

        Peace and love to all…


  7. Nigel

    Is there something in particular about this subject that caused it to attract so many heartlessly stupid and asinine responses? I don’t know if the band should be disbanded, but I could see a couple of good arguments as to why it should.

      1. Nigel

        It seems weird to keep sending kids to a group with a name at least so associated with abuse, so that does seem to be the bare minimum you could do.

        1. ahjayzis

          Can of worms there though.

          I find it slightly bile inducing when parents let their kids become altar servers for the same reason.

          1. Nigel

            At this point I reflexively worry about all situations where children are engaged in activities supervised by other adults. Garda screening and child safety guidelines help, but I watch them like a hawk when my own kids are involved.

          2. Deluded

            I wasn’t allowed swim, or be an altarboy (missed out on some sweet wedding money too)
            It disturbed me how many people “knew” “something” yet nobody could say anything. The duty is to allow victims to speak and to be listened to.
            While clergy across Europe were prosecuted from the 1950s we continued to cover it up here.

          3. Deluded

            If we are to believe the “1 in 4” statistic I would presume that 75% of people have no idea, in fact some, in my experience, are quite defensive, even dismissive, when the topic is raised.
            (As was I, once upon a time)

  8. Bandy

    they should disband it, and then make a movie about 2 brothers who want to get it back together to play some blues.. they could call it… the blues brothers..

  9. Turgenev

    Maybe the sensible thing to do would be to get together all the people who were in the band over the years and let them decide?
    I suspect they’d decide the same as Mannix Flynn.

    1. Slugger

      Like the Artane Senior Band? Comprised mostly of ex Artane band members? A look at their Facebook page would suggest they’re most upset by Flynn’s motions. For the record, Flynn was sent to Letterfrack, not Artane, for arson.

  10. Truth in the News

    Every time the band takes part in the GAA spectacle, the subconsious connects
    with the history of the Artane School and the way the children were treated, there
    needs to be a fresh approach, possibly by the GAA is sponsoring a National Band
    for sporting occassions, what Mannix Flynn has exposed is the attempt to wipe out
    from the public mind what went on at Christian Brothers run Institutions, in fact the
    use of the word “Christian” for the Brothers is far off, when the actions of some
    them were discovered and exposed.

  11. Slugger

    Thanks Brother Barnabas, I’m aware of two cases of arson for which Flynn was charged and found guilty, I don’t know the chronology. Also, arsonist or not, no child deserved the abuse meted out by the Christian brothers.

    And as we approach the biggest day in the GAA calendar, can we remember that the children marching on Sunday are just that, children, and can in no way be held in any way responsible for the Christian Brother’s crimes.

Comments are closed.

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