Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Successful Launch of Vol. Patricia Black Memorial Flute Band

Saturday night saw the launch of the newest Republican flute band, the Volunteer Patricia Black Memorial Flute Band, which is based in Glasgow.

Patricia Black was a Volunteer in the Belfast Brigade of the Irish Republican Army who died while on active service in England on November 15th, 1991 alongside her comrade, Vol Frank Ryan.

The band were only formed just a few months ago and already they are up and running. They are a well turned out and disciplined band comprising of members of various ages.

The Volunteer Patrica Black Memorial Flute Band was launched on the 2nd of May 2010 after several band members travelled from Glasgow to Belfast to meet with Patricia's family.

A number of Patricia's relatives, local republicans and band members gathered at Patricia's graveside in Milltown Cemetery to mark the occasion.

The band is based in the Garngad area of Glasgow and is politically aligned to éirígí, the Irish socialist republican political party. The band is the first republican band to solely carry the name of a female volunteer.

At a time when when republican flute bands seem to be dwindling it's very uplifting to see a new RFB on the road, it's also a welcome development for éirígí who are growing from strength to strength.

Listening to the younger members of the band speaking on the stage was very encouraging, you could tell straight away that they were up to date with the current political situation. They spoke about how much they admired Patricia, and how they felt that éirígí was like a breath of fresh air for disillusioned socialist republicans such as themselves. I was however saddened to hear how they have been victims of intimidation from anti-republican elements in Glasgow, (as usual the perpetrators were those who should know better) but it was uplifting to hear that it only makes them more determined to carry on playing in Patricia's memory.

I look forward to seeing this band at future republican events and they are a welcome addition to the socialist republican movement.

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