Saturday, 7 April 2018

Malahide Tóstal Parade, 1953

A while ago, I was browsing through pictures of the 'Shops of former years' on the Malahide Historical Society website, when I happened upon a picture of my father. He was young at the time, just fifteen years old, but still recognisable. 

The picture was of the Tóstal Parade in Malahide, Co. Dublin, in 1953, as it made its way down Main Street and pased the old cinema. By way of explanation, An Tóstal was a festival held throughout Ireland, mostly in the 1950s, which saw many towns around the country hold a parade or some other sporting or cultural event. Dad was playing the bagpipes in the pipe band leading the Malahide parade. He's the young man in front, in the lighter colour suit.

James and Michael Byrne, Malahide, Co. Dublin, 1953

So I sent a link to the picture to my mother and this is what she replied: 
'Yes that is Daddy in front. Paddy Condron is directly behind him. Johnny Mahon is the second on the right and Pat Cave is playing the drum behind him.  Your grandfather is on Pat's left.'

Wow! Granda is also in the picture! You can count on two fingers the number of pictures I've seen of my Granda Byrne - one was his wedding photo and the other was on his memorial card. He played the drums in St. Sylvesters pipe band in his day, but here he is just walking behind, supporting them. 

How cool is that!

With many thanks to Roger Greene of the Malahide Historical Society, for permission to share the photograph here. 

© Black Raven Genealogy


  1. What a find! I am sure you were happy enough to recognize your dad, but for your mom to recognize so many is a real bonanza. And your grandfather too - cherry on the sundae.

  2. What a wonderful find Dara! I'm also impressed your Dad could play those pipes.

    1. Ha Ellie, bet you wouldn't have been quite so impressed at 9 o'clock on a Sunday morning, with the racket outside your bedroom door. LOL!


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