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Band History

The Thomas Davis Pipe Band was founded in 1924, evolving from the Mallow National Fife and Drum Band which had been in existence since 1913. The three O'Sullivan brothers of Geraldville (William, John and James), along with members of the fife and drum band, decided to establish a pipe band. The new organisation was named after the 19th-century Mallow-born patriot Thomas Osborne Davis.

During the first two years of its existence, the band practised in the All-for-Ireland Club in Fair Street before moving some years later to premises off Main Street, Mallow, and later again to its present practice rooms in Mallow Town Hall. The first parade, in 1924, led by Pipe-Major William O'Sullivan, proceeded through the town to the Central Cinema.

The first set of uniforms, with green tunics and saffron kilts, was obtained in the late 1920s. These colours have been retained in the band's uniform up to the present day. A  set of Tara brooches was acquired from a Cork business which had been destroyed in the sacking of the city by British forces in 1920.

Several important engagements were carried out in the band's early years. These included the parade held in 1928 to welcome home Olympic hammer-throwing gold medal winner Dr. Pat O'Callaghan; the centenary celebrations of Catholic emancipation in Cork in 1929; the unveiling in Doneraile of a memorial to author Canon Sheehan, and the unveiling of plaques to Mallow-born Thomas Davis and William O'Brien. The sound of the band was also to be heard at sporting events, commemorations and festivals in many parts of Ireland.

In recent decades, band members have performed in a number of European countries. The most ambitious overseas trip undertaken to date was to Boston, USA in 1988 when the band was invited to perform at the annual fund-raising event of the American-Ireland Fund. Band members also participated in the inaugural visit to Mallow's twin town, Tréguier, Brittany, in 1990, and in a festival in Italy in 1998.

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