Something Special

Millstreet Pipe Band at Ballydaly Mass - photo by John Tarrant
Millstreet Pipe Band at Ballydaly Mass on Tuesday morning last – photo by John Tarrant

St.Patrick’s Day is always very busy for Millstreet Pipe Band. On Tuesday they started early at Ballydaly mass, followed by Millstreet mass at 11:30, followed by the Killarney Parade at 2pm, and finally back to the Millstreet Parade at 5pm.

Now our Pipe Band always play during St.Patrick’s Day mass in St.Patrick’s Church Millstreet, so when it was mentioned the week before that they would be played again this year, I was happy because it’s always nice, but didn’t take extra special notice of it.

But … what they played as the reflection after communion turned out to be something unexpectedly special. It started with a number of pipers playing from the altar, but then the church organ started to play at the opposite end of the church, and as the musicians played, for a few precious minutes as the low bass vibrations of the organ and the pipers passed through us, everyone was enthralled by beauty and emotion of the moment, as the hairs stood on the back of our necks … and it was of course followed by a rapturous applause.  Truly, a moment not to be forgotten.

Congratulations and thank you to the band members, our organist Suzanne Fitzgerald, and to everyone that spent of their time to put it together.

A lot of people sponsored the repair of the organ a few years ago, so it was really nice to see it being used to its full potential … something I’ve not heard before.


from the Millstreet Pipe Band Facebook Page: We had a very busy but lovely St. Patrick’s Day & in the sunshine which was great! Obviously we thank all our members for putting in the effort for today. Thanks to the general public for their support. We would like to thank Suzanne Fitzgerald, the organist with Millstreet Church Choir for her accompaniment in Millstreet Church and also to Jane & Liam for their help with this. Thanks to Fr. Jack, Julie & Sharon. Thanks to the Alfie for getting us around.Thanks to the staff at the Wallis Arms for breakfast. Thanks to the photographers, especially Geraldine, Seán & John, for recording aspects of our day. And finally, a special word of thanks to all the parents, husbands, wives and extended families of our members for their support today & throughout the year…… To be honest it was lovely to play the tune on the bagpipes with the accompaniment of the organ. And it really showed off the quality of the organ in Millstreet Church, and of course, the quality of the organist.


There’s lots of photos of our Pipe Band from St.Patrick’s Day (and more)  on the Millstreet Pipe Band Facebook Page.


The tune that they played was Highland Cathedral. I don’t have an audio of it from Tuesday. It would be nice to hear it again … if anyone was lucky enough to record it. For the moment, below is a similar arrangement of what we were treated to, but played in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. (turn up the sound and the bass if you can)


5 thoughts on “Something Special”

  1. Yes, Michael, I wholeheartedly agree. It was indeed a true “Riverdance” moment (when “Riverdance” with Michael Flatley, Jean Butler and the Dance Troupe first performed for a global audience at the Point Theatre in Dublin in 1994). Sincere congratulations to the various members of Millstreet Pipe Band and Organist, Suzanne Fitzgerald for sharing the magnificent “Highland Cathedral”. Any of us present for the unique musical experience were greatly privileged….And, gladly, we have it fully recorded from the Gallery of St. Patrick’s Church, Millstreet on St. Patrick’s Day 2015. This we shall share with a global audience in a forthcoming programme on LTV2 Millstreet.

  2. Congratulations to Millstreet pipe band and organist on the wonderful rendition of the highland cathedral. It was magnificent. I wonder could it be repeated on Easter Sunday.

  3. Thanks to all for the lovely comments about the band’s performance on St. Patrick’s Day. It was nice for the Pipe Band members to work with Suzanne, the organist, to put the piece together. In relation to repeating it…if the opportunity arises at some point in the future, all options will be considered. Finally, we also received a lot of positive feedback in relation to the whole band playing up & down the church & at the offertory & indeed at the parades on St. Patrick’s Day and again, it was very much appreciated.

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