War of Independence and the Virginia String Orchestra. In 1904, The Virginia String Orchestra was formed by Fr. Patrick Rehill. The orchestra was a regular attraction at GAA games across the country and also performed at Sinn Fein meetings and rallies and was present in support of Arthur Griffith in the 1918 by -election. The instruments were stored on Main Street in what was known as Jimmy Reilly’s Sweet Shop in 1920. A convoy of Black and Tans came from Kells and terrorised the female occupants of a private dwelling in Virginia. They then proceeded to Main Street to where the instruments were stored and seized them. They travelled back to Kells but at Dervor they were ambushed by an IRA group led by Michael Mc Mahon. The instruments were thrown onto the road and damaged and the rest were never recovered. This action led to the demise of the Virginia String Orchestra (Brass and Reed Band). The leader of the band was Peter Smith, grandfather of Peter Smith Cranadillon. A similar raid took place in Oldcastle on the Oldcastle Brass and Reed Band, but after the treaty compensation was received to buy new instruments and the band was reformed.

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