MEMORIES AND RECOLLECTIONS OF THE BALLINTUBBER FIFE AND DRUM BAND
by MARY FLYNN
The band must have started back around the time of the Land League. I heard it said they used to play at the monster meetings organised by Michael Davitt. The band lasted for many years. They played at all the great sports and athletic meetings, at such places as Clogher, where the football is now, Towerhill, Quinns field and Tuohy’s lawn. I can remember them myself playing at Sports in Towerhill in 1942. It must be about the last time they played.
My father, Pat Flynn was a stonemason and builder. He loved the music most of all. He led the band for some years. He died thirty years ago in 1969 aged 94 years.
Other men who played in the band were, Eddie McDermott, Castlecarra, Thomas Gannon, Rostigue, Thomas Staunton, Dromore, Joe Prendergast, Newtown, Michael Hopkins, Castlecarra, Jack McHugh, Knockaraha, Eddie Dean, Clooneen and Alex McDonnell, Moorehall.
They were well on the go around 1921. The Black N’ Tans used to search peoples houses and put them out of their beds. We used to cut the turf in the bog at the back of Martin Walsh’s house. My father used to hide the big drum and the ‘kettle drums’ in the stack of turf in case the Tans would find them and land them all in trouble.
In the early days I suppose they used to walk or cycle to events. In later down years they used to travel in Pat Jennings’s lorry. They used to march and play the flutes, the fife and the drums. They played mostly marching tunes. ‘The Boys of Wexford’ was the most popular tune. They also played ‘The dawning of the day’ ‘Kelly the boy from Killane’ ‘Roddy McCorley’ and all the old tunes. They are all gone now and there is nothing left but the memories of a few.