Memorabilia of Arklow’s Unique Marching Band on display at the Library
Arklow Youth Marching Band founder Paddy Finn recently held an exhibition detailing his collection of images and memorabilia from when the band was on the road. Held at Arklow Library, the exhibition ran for two weeks.
The group’s heritage dates back to its inception in 1979, when it was founded by Paddy as the world’s first and only asthma group, shortly after he was diagnosed with the disease. They also made history overseas by being the only Irish band to play at New York’s Yankee Stadium.
Adorning the walls of Arklow Library were photos of the band performing at various locations, from the Rose of Tralee to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, as well as photos of former members and the uniforms that the band wore on their travels. Paddy’s main pride and joy, however, is a £10 note presented to him by Taoiseach Charlie Haughey, which is framed and accompanied by a picture of the couple exchanging the gift.
The event was well attended, with Wicklow County Council hosting a civic reception. A commentary book was provided for visitors to leave messages after viewing, which gave Paddy an idea of how many people attended.
“There were over 150 comments from band members and people who remember the band, there were people asking me to reform it, but those days are over,” he concluded.