Repeal the patronage of the present Artane Band

Tonight before Dublin City Council meeting a motion will be tabled to discontinue the Lord Mayor of Dublin’s patronage of the Artane Band. This band form part of the institutional gulags that are directly connected to the Tuam mother and baby home, the Magdalene Laundry system, the Industrial and reform school system, the orphanages, Bethany Home and the many other sites and centres of injustice to children and women that are scattered around this country.

Please support our campaign to disband the Artane Band.


Bon Secours grounds Tuam


Emergency Motion on behalf of Independent Cllr. Mannix Flynn (IND)

That this meeting of Dublin City Council calls on the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Brendan Carr, to withdraw the patronage of the Lord Mayor’s Office from the Artane Band.
This patronage causes grave offense and insult to the many who suffered child sexual abuse in the Artane Industrial School, Artane Boys Band and other such Christian Brother Institutions.

It is important to note that the present Artane Band was founded in the Artane Industrial school and continues to wear the insignia and uniform of that industrial school.  Its origins are firmly rooted in the industrial school system and its legacy of crimes against children, further it is still connected to the Christian Brothers organization.


The Lord Mayor, Cllr. Brendan Carr, has continued to ignore the many who are campaigning for justice with regards to what happened in their childhoods in the Artane Industrial school and indeed the Artane Boys Band, where many young children were sexually, emotionally and physically abused, their suffering continues to this day

For the Lord Mayor and chairman of Dublin City Council to continue to be the patron of the Artane Band is an outrage and will bring Dublin City Council’s reputation into disrepute by supporting the legacy of child abuse that took place in Artane Industrial School and the Artane Band. It is important that Dublin City Council and the office of the Lord Mayor distance themselves from this band and its history, which are well documented in the Ryan Report.

It is not the children who are in the band at present, but rather the band that the children are in, and its association with crimes against children. The institution of the Artane Industrial School and the Artane Band are directly connected to the likes of the Tuam Mother and Baby Homes, the Magdalene Laundry system, the Industrial and Reform School system, the Bethany Home and Orphanage system and form a central part of the architecture of containment that was so unjust.

Dublin City Council in this instance is facilitating further harm and suffering to the many victims of child rape and cruelty perpetrated on them while in the Artane Industrial School, home of the Artane Boys Band.

It is a fact that many of those who were abused and child raped by Christian Brothers were members of the Artane Boys Band, now known as the Artane Band.

Time to repeal the patronage of the present Artane Band in the interest of justice

Cllr. Mannix Flynn

Response to Lord Mayor Brendan Carr

September 15th 2016

Press Statement from Dublin Independent councillor Mannix Flynn

Mannix Flynn, an Independent councillor in Dublin City Council has today hit back at Dublin’s Lord Mayor over claims that his calls for the disbandment of the Artane School of Music are “upsetting the vast majority of Dubliners”.

In an article in one of today’s newspapers, Brendan Carr, the Labour Lord Mayor, was quoted as lambasting Flynn over his motion: “[Flynn is] raising the issue over the way kids were treated years ago, but the impact he’s having on the kids in that band at the moment is something that any city councillor should be ashamed of”.

In a statement issued today, Flynn has called on Cllr Carr to withdraw his remarks and separate his opinions from that of the Lord Mayor’s office, a title which should remain impartial and unbiased.

“If Cllr Carr would take a moment to discuss the matter with me he would understand that the Artane School of Music, in its current form, has evolved out of misery and brutality forced upon innocent children who attended St Joseph’s Industrial School in Artane.

“It is not accurate for Cllr Carr to insinuate that I am out to cause hurt to any of the children involved in the current band. The debate is much deeper than that.

“While the Lord Mayor has every right to call on crowds to cheer on the band at Sunday’s All-Ireland final, he is quite wrong in congratulating the band’s 130-years of ‘proud association with the GAA and Croke Park’. Those who attended St Joseph’s School and who were in the band attest to the monstrosities they and other boys endured during their time there. The band was more often than not an escape from the degradation and neglect other boys suffered as they undertook menial chores on a day-to-day basis. Being in the band meant you could at least wash occasionally and couldn’t be beaten on the face, but it did not exempt you from the sordid sexual abuse that was rife in the school.


1969 – Artane Boys Band travel to America to raise funds.  They are in blazers and not the usual uniform as the band room had been burned down.  Former band member Patrick Walsh (Irish SOCA) is in the front row aged 15 years.  The notorious Brother Joseph O Connor  (Joe Boy) took this photo, Shannon Airport.    


“I have come under criticism for raising this issue but if you were a child who endured any amount of time in an industrial school, you would be reminded of the horrors that took place every time the Artane band took to the pitch on match days.

“And I’m not alone. This week, members of Irish SOCA  (Survivors of Child Abuse) came out in support of my cause. Like me, these were men forced into industrial schools and some of those were even in the band in Artane and experienced first-hand the exploitation and manipulation of children by the religious.

“Will the Lord Mayor acknowledge that his apathy and indifference to their suffering is causing much hurt?”


New Motion lodged on Monday 12th September to Dublin City Council:

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.

Positive Intervention – Towards Rehab Street

What’s the big problem with the truth and the reality of whats going on in our society and on our streets. For those who have to face this on a daily basis and deal with it on a daily basis there is an enormous down side and it can have a catastrophic impact on their own health, well being and safety. Go ask the families of those that are on our streets in active addiction how they feel about whats going on. This is about feeling and drugs block feelings. But not everybody out there who is going about their daily business in and around this activity can sedate themselves or protect themselves from what’s going on around them. This is not a vote exercise its a reality exercise. I’ve got my own family members and friends and constituents out there on them streets at this activity. This is not something that I’ve just stumbled across – i’ve been engaged in this all my life and I’m actively engaged in assisting individuals towards rehabilitation and counselling.
The Daily Mirror spoke with me for over one hour, there were many issues discussed as with any journalist they edit it down to suit the piece. What I said in my remarks is no different than what would be said in any rehabilitation institute.
Its reality. Go into any NA room or AA room and try get away with mamby pamby nonsense. The issue here is that we’re getting overwhelmed by those in addiction. Its important to note that a lot of this behaviour is not tolerated in the flats anymore, not tolerated in their primary homes any more – so why should we tolerate it on our streets. It we can’t call a spade a spade and tell the truth as we see it then we’re in deeper trouble than those in the throws of addiction.
As for safe clinics to shoot up, thats a matter for the HSE and I’ve brought it up on many occasions now. Let me say here though, that you’re always going to be dealing with street issues, no matter what you provide because what you really need to provide is residential rehabilitation centres where people can go when they are ready to deal with the issue. You can also create Streetstep where people are positively engaged in the value of 12 Step program and are encouraged to come 12 Step meetings (NA and AA).

This is all about responsibility and the responsibility for addiction is something that the addict has to step up to. There is a good old saying ‘I like you but I don’t like your addictive behaviour’.
On a personal level, I was stuck in that kind of a hell for 20 odd years of my life, I can only speak for my own experience which is no different than any of those people on the streets or in our pubs or in luxury hotel rooms who are in active addiction of alcoholism, gambling or opiates. But I ain’t no sham-carer or reactionary. I deeply care about people, human beings who are caught up in the trauma of critical addiction and I do my best to carry the message of hope and recovery where ever I go and the most effective way to deliver that is direct.
There are 10s of millions of euros every year being spent on this issue. When you boil it down, this particular heroin issue is about the socially less well-off, those that are regarded as disadvantaged. The unfortunates. For over 30 odd years the State and Agents of the State and the so called ‘community activists’ have failed entirely to deal with this issue. The people on our streets, the homeless, the addicted, are not getting any of the so called benefit, they are merely regarded as the raw material for massive revenue streams into all these so called entities and service providers. We’re not talking about hundreds of thousands of people here, we’re talking about a few hundred that have created a culture as seen in O Connell Street over the past twenty odd years. This Culture has now formed into like a social community, widely regarded as a kind of murky underworld when in actual fact its not. Although its breaking the law, what goes on on O Connell Street and on our streets is a social thing, albeit, a dangerous and detrimental one.

I’m totally committed to finding new ways to change this dynamic. Part of that change is bare faced directness, brutal honesty and absolute reality. You can no longer pedal a grandiose statement around this that nobody is doing anything. If that were the case, there’d be nobody in NA or AA and it would be hopeless.
Its down to the individuals and any individual that I’ve ever come across, caught in addiction, has a massive willingness to change but is confronted by a massive desire to use. Somewhere in between this we have to find better methods to intervene in whatever setting we find active addiction and destruction.
For those who commented on my comments in the Daily Mirror, they seem to be under some illusion that I’m coming from some other place and they’re surprised. I don’t get this. I don’t get this at all and I find it peculiar, amateurish and care-taking that they would assume that I’m on their side or support their views whatever they may be.
I’m not in the business of pseudo-outreach. I don’t live my life like that and I don’t interact like that. The situation on our streets can be changed for the better. The diabolical consequences of active addiction in people’s lives wherever they are and whatever their circumstances can also be constitutionally changed. There is a proven method for all of those who wish to avail of it. Everybody comes to it slowly. Everybody is in their own journey.

However, its equally important to give full support for those people who also suffer great trauma as a result of other people’s addictions – like family members, relations, friends, wives, husbands, workers and the general public who are confronted with it on an ever increasing daily basis in our City.
Walk into any Al Anon room or read any Al Anon literature and you’ll get my point. The more equipped, informed and educated we are around the dynamics of active addiction, the more of service we can be to those who are suffering in their active addiction. These were my points that I tried to raise and I will continue to raise and not step back from. This is not an intolerant position but a realistic approach to a merciless patient and thorough destructive disease called addiction.

I would always hope that for those in active addiction that they would be educated into taking responsibility for their addiction. What’s taking place in our streets at the moment is a reckless disregard for everybody’s health and safety. And that, as it was unacceptable in the social housing complexes, unacceptable in any of our homes, should be equally unacceptable on our streets. This is not an authoritarian approach but a humanitarian one. So when you’re down there and you see all this happening, those engaged with the business of addiction can sedate themselves from their own trauma, those who are going about their daily business, their daily work in the shops and offices throughout the city, cannot.

In conclusion, this is but one side of one scenario taking place in Dublin city. There are over 10,000 registered users of heroin in our city. Many of them take responsibility and manage this condition in a responsible way. There are those also that are on the various programs of recovery and there are the ever increasing numbers that are attending counseling and also attending various meetings around the issues of compulsion and addiction. There are also the many that we don’t see. The addiction to the internet, gambling, food etc. Ever increasing numbers of individuals get to break out from their addictions and get to live incredible lives. That’s what we’re all striving for here. The spine of that possibility is the truth and the honest truth no matter how uncomfortable.