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.
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 times 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 after 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.
Youghal Scout Band
Limavady Scout band founded by Father Donnelly sometime in the 1980s.
Enniskillen Scout Brass Band (Saint Michael's). Played at the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in March 1985. The Band was under the charge of Mr. Bernard O’Connor Erne Region Commissioner.
Tuam Catholic Boy Scouts Pipe Band. In 1950 the Band was under the direction of Scoutmaster P. J. Grealish Assistant Scoutmaster Brendan McEnnis.
Clones Scout Band C.S.I. took part in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade after mass in Clones town in March 1992.
Clara Boy Scouts Band under Mr. John Kelly and Mr. Kevin Towhey Saint Patrick’s Day 1972.
1st Greystones Pipe Band
Lord Powerscourt’s 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.
Geoffrey Roland (Ronnie) Gethings
Joseph (Joe) Towell
Thomas (Tommy) Hamilton
Harold (Harry) Scott
Killed in Action
Geoffrey Ronald Gethings is buried in St. Columb Major Cemetery, St. Eval, Cornwall, U.K.
The three are remembered on the Saint Patrick’s Church of Ireland Church Memorial in Greystones County Wicklow.