The Notre Dame football team is known as the ‘Fighting Irish’ because of its strong links with Ireland, but did you know that its theme song is The Rakes of Mallow? If you didn’t, you will get a chance to hear the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Band, complete with cheerleaders and a leprechaun, playing the song on the streets of Mallow on Wednesday March 14th.

The band is visiting Ireland to publicise the American football game between Notre Dame and the Navy, in Croke Park in September.

The decision by the Fighting Irish Marching Band to visit Mallow has its roots in a council meeting a few months ago when Cllr Jerry Mullally proposed that the council invite the Notre Dame team to visit. Following this, Cllr Ronan Sheehan began to explore the possibility, and when he met with Brendan Daly from Mallow who is a student at Notre Dame, the ball was set rolling. Contact was made and Cllr Sheehan discovered that the band was keen to visit the town after which their most famous song is named, and the upshot of this is that on March 14th, Mallow will be visited by 50 band members, 10 cheerleaders and a leprechaun. The group will spend the night in Mallow and will travel to Galway the day after, and on their final night in Ireland they will appear on ‘The Late Late Show’.

Cllr Sheehan said this week that the visit would be a great boost for the town, as the marching band is very famous and good word-of-mouth could result in more visitors from the US.

With regard to what events will be held when the band arrives on March 14th, Cllr Sheehan said that he was open to suggestions, and added that it was hoped to hold a meeting next week to discuss the matter. Details of the meeting have not yet been released, but anyone interested can contact the councillor on 086 1522256.