Tonight before Dublin City Council meeting a motion will be tabled to discontinue the Lord Mayor of Dublin’s patronage of the Artane Band. This band form part of the institutional gulags that are directly connected to the Tuam mother and baby home, the Magdalene Laundry system, the Industrial and reform school system, the orphanages, Bethany Home and the many other sites and centres of injustice to children and women that are scattered around this country.
Please support our campaign to disband the Artane Band.
DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL
Emergency Motion on behalf of Independent Cllr. Mannix Flynn (IND)
That this meeting of Dublin City Council calls on the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Brendan Carr, to withdraw the patronage of the Lord Mayor’s Office from the Artane Band.
This patronage causes grave offense and insult to the many who suffered child sexual abuse in the Artane Industrial School, Artane Boys Band and other such Christian Brother Institutions.
It is important to note that the present Artane Band was founded in the Artane Industrial school and continues to wear the insignia and uniform of that industrial school. Its origins are firmly rooted in the industrial school system and its legacy of crimes against children, further it is still connected to the Christian Brothers organization.
The Lord Mayor, Cllr. Brendan Carr, has continued to ignore the many who are campaigning for justice with regards to what happened in their childhoods in the Artane Industrial school and indeed the Artane Boys Band, where many young children were sexually, emotionally and physically abused, their suffering continues to this day
For the Lord Mayor and chairman of Dublin City Council to continue to be the patron of the Artane Band is an outrage and will bring Dublin City Council’s reputation into disrepute by supporting the legacy of child abuse that took place in Artane Industrial School and the Artane Band. It is important that Dublin City Council and the office of the Lord Mayor distance themselves from this band and its history, which are well documented in the Ryan Report.
It is not the children who are in the band at present, but rather the band that the children are in, and its association with crimes against children. The institution of the Artane Industrial School and the Artane Band are directly connected to the likes of the Tuam Mother and Baby Homes, the Magdalene Laundry system, the Industrial and Reform School system, the Bethany Home and Orphanage system and form a central part of the architecture of containment that was so unjust.
Dublin City Council in this instance is facilitating further harm and suffering to the many victims of child rape and cruelty perpetrated on them while in the Artane Industrial School, home of the Artane Boys Band.
It is a fact that many of those who were abused and child raped by Christian Brothers were members of the Artane Boys Band, now known as the Artane Band.
Time to repeal the patronage of the present Artane Band in the interest of justice
Cllr. Mannix Flynn
Alan Amsby is a true champion and one of our most provocative artists. He challenged this society in a way that very few did. He gave an outlet and an opening to a lot of men who were coming to terms with their identity. Before Brendan O Carroll or any of the tame Panto dames, there was Alan Amsby (Mr Pussy). Dangerous, provocative, innovative, ground breaking and loved by everybody including all those in the shadows and underworld of Dublin’s then unlawful gay scene.
I hope President Higgins sees fit to honour Alan Amsby in some way. It is fantastic to see this book finally come out of that big wardrobe that Alan Amsby has. Its part of our social and political history as well as our artistic cultural identity.
Alan Amsby, a British citizen, gave this city and this country his life and a fantastic service well before the Belfast agreement.
In 1969, a young Englishman named Alan Amsby arrived in Ireland with a frock and a wig. He was booked for one week, but was an overnight sensation, and made Dublin his home. Catholic Ireland had never before seen anything like the beautiful and outrageous Mr Pussy. For almost fifty years, Alan has delighted audiences and demolished boundaries.
Here, he recalls his early days as a drag princess and model in Swinging London, partying the likes of Judy Garland, Noël Coward and David Bowie; being heckled by one of the Kray twins – and snogging Danny La Rue. He also remembers grey 1980s’ Ireland, shocking the country with its first adult panto, and losing friends to the Aids epidemic. Then there’s his 1990s’ renaissance, ‘doing time’ with Paul O’Grady and Daniel Day Lewis, and opening Mr Pussy’s world-famous Café De Luxe with Bono.
Full of hilarious celebrity yarns, sequinned characters like the remarkable Stella Minge, and a lot of shameless name-dropping, Mr Pussy is the story of a legendary, ground-breaking entertainer, full of pathos, charm and wit.
Alan Amsby (aka Mr Pussy) was born in London and performed a popular drag act before moving to Ireland in the late 1960s.
Today a group of us took to the streets of Coolock at Northside Civic Centre where my motion regarding the history of the Artane Band and the Artane Industrial School was put before the North Central Area Committee. In what can only be described as a gross act of denial only one Councillor voted in favour of the motion. (Cllr Michael O Brien)
Denial ruled the day. It was an act of shocking violence the deafening silence. How can it be that the findings of the Ryan Report and the finding of serious Garda inquiry into child abuse, wholesale criminal and sexual violence that was perpetrated in Artane industrial school can be written out of history?
It is a great shame that the Cllrs in this instance chose to keep Ireland and it’s people in the dark and protect the Christian Brothers and their manifestation through the present Artane Band. The people of Artane and indeed the North Central Area need now to stand up to this shameless shameful act.
The paedophiles and rapists and child abusers will take great comfort in today’s decision by this area committee and its councillors. While we, the people who experienced this abuse in our childhood, carry a much heavier burden as a result of today’s refusal by the Cllrs to acknowledge the true and proven history of the Artane Boys Band, the Artane Band and the Artane Industrial School.
Like the dark days of the beginning of this journey for justice, we stood alone against the Catholic Church, the Christian Brothers and the orders of nuns. Sad today, that we stood alone again at the North Side Civic Centre.
These two motions below were fully supported last month by all but two Councillors at the North Central Area Committee Meeting.
Again supporting a true denial of the accurate and true history of the Artane Industrial School and the Artane Boys Band – Artane Band. History repeats itself in the form of gross denial. Our lives don’t matter.
Street performance and Dublin City Council bylaws
There is a group of individuals who claim they represent all buskers who have been putting out misinformation, not just about Dublin City Council, but about me in an unjust and inaccurate attempt to demonise and label me as anti-busking and anti-culture. This is not true.
Firstly, nobody, is attempting or has suggested banning busking or street performance. At present, there is a document in the public domain seeking observations and suggestions with regards how we manage the public domain in relation to street performance. This is part of the democratic process of enshrining the rights of street performers while on the other hand maintaining a balance in the public domain which is also the workplace and home for thousands of people.
Over the years many residents and workers have complained to Dublin City Council and public representatives about the unbearable noise levels at certain locations in the city – mainly Grafton Street, Temple Bar, Henry Street and the GPO.
Having tried a voluntary code of conduct with regards performers’ noise levels, the City Council decided it was appropriate to create a series of bylaws to help to manage the public domain more effectively. These bylaws were enacted into law a year ago with a review period that would fix any blaring omissions or further complaints.
The concerns at present mainly relate to amplification and noise levels and a general wish by many residents and workers to ban amplification which, as well as being a nuisance, drowns out acoustic buskers. I am not against busking, but, like the residents and workers in the city centre, I support this ban on amplification.
This whole process has been democratic, open and transparent where everyone gets heard – unlike on Grafton Street or Temple Bar sometimes when you can only hear the noise that is so loud your head hurts. Anybody interested can read a copy of the new bylaws under consideration before they are voted upon and the voting process itself can be viewed by all when they are discussed at length in Dublin City Council at the Arts Strategic Policy Committee which is webcast live and available online to view after the meeting also.
Rest assured that Street performance and busking will always be a feature on Dublin and Irish streets and Irish culture is the richer for it.
I hope this clarifies some of the issues, even if it doesn’t stop the devious few who want to undermine me and who last year smashed the window of my former studio on Ormond Quay and graffitied disgusting comments all over the building.
Long live busking. Long live street performance. Long live a safe and healthy work place for all.