Mayo and Manchester bands join forces to celebrate 150 years of Piping

Achill Islands’ Dooagh Pipe Band in Mayo and Manchester’s’ award winning Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band are joining forces to celebrate this years Home to Mayo Festival in May.
The two bands who are both celebrating their 75th anniversaries are to stage a special joint celebration during the afternoon event on Sunday 29 May as part of the week long Mayo.ie Home to Mayo Tradfest which runs from Thursday 26 to Tuesday 31 May. The Tradfest will be touring Mayo and staging events in Attymass, Ballina, Castlebar, Cong, Ashford Castle, Achill Island and Westport.
Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester commented “We are delighted to be returning to Achill to stage this unique event to celebrate 150 years of Irish piping in Mayo and Manchester. It is just one of the action packed events of our week-long festival of traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance.”
For more information about the festival and how to get involved in it email mayomanchester@gmail.com or visit www.MayoManchester.com
The Manchester based Fianna Phadraig Pipe band are the UK’s longest running Award winning Pipe Band. They have been a key part of the annual Mayo Manchester Tradfest which has won a number of awards since it began in 2013. The band are currently planning one of Europe’s largest Pipe Band events which is the United Pipers for Peace which will take place in Manchester in September along with a festival in France in front of a crowd of 60,000 people and they hope to take part in New York’s St Patrick’s Day Parade and a tour of America in 2023 as part of their 75th Anniversary celebrations.
The Mayo based, St. Patrick’s Pipe Band was established in the village of Dooagh on the western shores of Achill Island, Co. Mayo in 1947, with a membership of 11.
However, the roots of the pipe band delve much deeper than just the past 75 years, with the original band in the village - the Dooagh Fife and Drum band formed in 1882. The Fife band played a significant role and provided moral support with their music, throughout pivotal times in Irish history such as the times of Michael Davitt’s Land League and the struggle for Irish independence during the late 19th & early 20th centuries.
Today the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Achill is perhaps the most unique celebration in Ireland, if not the entire world with no less than five pipe bands marching from early morning to late in the evening!
Achill’s annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition continued to be one of the highlights of the year throughout the ebb and flow of Irish society throughout the 20th century as the band contended with pressing factors namely, emigration. From that winter of 1945, when the first steps were taken toward the formation the Pipe Band tradition in Achill to today where over almost 150 pipers and drummers march – it is something the community can be proud of fostering and nurturing over the course of many decades.
Throughout the following years and on to today, Dooagh Pipe Band have been a familiar sight at important events in the west and beyond; welcoming important visitors to the region, festivals and events, weddings, football matches and even the opening of Knock Airport, which illustrates just some of the wide range of performances outside of the band’s regular schedule of St. Patrick’s Day, Easter Sunday & New Year’s Eve.

2022 Events
2022 is promising to be a famous year in the history of Dooagh Pipe Band as we look to march in to our 75th year of music, tradition, and celebration.
A series of events to mark the occasion will take place over St. Patrick’s Day and right throughout the weekend, Achill will be the place to be on 17th March 2022! You can keep up to date with these events and much more on our Facebook page: Dooagh Pipe Band, Achill or you can visit our website www.dooagh.com