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'People's Parade' : Co Down AOH band to retrace its 1966 Easter commemoration route

Gerry Davey leads St Joseph's AOH pipe band, Glassdrummond, along the Falls Road in 1966 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising
Connla Young

A CO Down band are to take part in a republican parade to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising - 50 years after it took part in the 1966 celebrations.

St Joseph's AOH Pipe Band Glassdrummond (the spelling of the village used by the band) will participate in a march dubbed the 'People’s Parade' through Belfast on Sunday – the calendar anniversary of the rising.

The march has been organised by the 2016 Commemoration Committee and is modelled on a parade held in west Belfast in 1966 which marked the 50th anniversary of the rising.

St Joseph's band is based in the village of Glasdrumman, situated between Newcastle and Kilkeel.

While the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army are mostly associated with the Rising, a contingent of Hibernian Riffles also took part in the events of Easter Week.

Mary McDowell, who is president of the local AOH division, said the band, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, wanted to mark the Rising centenary.

Her father Gerry Davey led the band along the Falls Road in 1966.

"There is a history there and while these days things are different it’s 100 years and we will never see it again," she said.

"I will be delighted to be taking part in the a parade in such an occasion and to see our band taking part in such an historical occasion."

While none of those who took part in 1966 will be in Belfast on Sunday, the band is expected to be led by Mary’s granddaughter, seven year old Molly Burns and her friend Niamh King who is aged six.

The parade will pass along the Falls Road before making its way to Milltown Cemetery.

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