In March of 2020 the brothers of the Wake County Division #1 helped form a new Irish pipe band called An Gorta Mór Pipes & Drums. Despite the hurdles they faced in getting the band started amid a global pandemic, their Irish spirit and tenacity drove them to push forward with their plans. This past week they met their initial goal by marching in their first Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They hope to celebrate many more St. Patrick’s Day parades and help share our Culture with their local community.
Band President brother Dennis O’Brien recently met with local news reporter Kyleigh Panetta before one of the weekly band practices for an interview. They spoke about the name of the Band and it’s mission to help remember the over one million people who died and the additional two million people who were forced to leave Ireland during the period of An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger). They also spoke about the Irish Diaspora tartan the band selected for their kilt, which represents those that have emigrated from Ireland.
The band is closely tied to the local Wake County AOH division and performs for many of the divisions functions and provides a Piper for the funeral service of any AOH members. There is no requirement for band members to join the AOH or to be Irish or Catholic. However, most of the bands founding members are long time members of the division and many of the band’s musicians are AOH members or associate members. The division recently donated the funds for a very important piece of equipment for the band, their bass drum which will feature the divisions logo on it.