Sunday, April 21, 2013

The mystique of the Irish Guard

The mystique of the Irish Guard

September 28, 2030

Weekly Report Posted: December 19, 2012 02:56

The Irish Guard is a group of uniformed students that leads the Band of the Fighting Irish onto the field at home games. They are considered one of the integral parts in the pageantry, lore, and legend of Notre Dame football.
The Irish Guard was formed in 1949 as a part of the University of Notre Dame Marching Band. The uniform of the guard was based on the pattern of the traditional Scottish kilt and incorporates the unique Notre Dame tartan. When wearing the entire uniform, a member of the guard stands seven feet tall to the top of the shako. They serve as body guards for the Fighting Irish Marching Band at away games throughout the season, and at all home games at Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish Guard often travels with the Band of the Fighting Irish to away games and marches with the band on campus, but many of the traditions of the Irish Guard are carried out separately from the marching band. Some of these traditions include the famous Victory Clog to the tune "Damhsa Bua" performed after every Irish football win, and the gameday Inspection of the Guard, which draws many spectators.
Irish Guard members must be physically strong, mentally tough, well-coordinated, and most importantly, at least 6'2". Given the popularity of the Guard, tryouts are held annually in August at the beginning of the school year. Up to 60 candidates will try out for the Guard to fill any openings in the 10-member Guard each year.
These representatives of the Notre Dame Irish Guard, past and present, do not seek public recognition for their service to the University or for the hours of work they put each day into maintaining the highest standards of excellence.
John Fyfe, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and former employee of the University of Notre Dame, provided members with background and experience as to the proper way to dress, march, and comport themselves in public. Mr. Fyfe taught the Guard to emulate the stoic and silent manner of the British Army's Foot Guards, including that of the Irish Guards.

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