The Piper’s Lament

Lieutenant Matt Galvin.

By Irish America Staff
April / May 2002

The New York Police Department lost 23 officers on September 11th and by the end of January, the NYPD Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Band had played 21 memorial services or funerals for their fallen colleagues (the families of two missing officers having postponed the services in case their remains were found).

Like most members of the Pipes and Drums Band, Matt Galvin fits practice times and performances into a schedule which includes a demanding career as a lieutenant in the 17th Precinct (on 51st Street and 3rd Avenue).

He has been a member of the band for 13 of the 14 years he has been with the Police Department.

The band itself lost Steve Driscoll, a color guard (standard bearer) member. They played first at his memorial service and again at his funeral. Galvin admits that it is upsetting to perform at funerals. “Every funeral has a great sense of loss, the whole thing is numbing, almost surreal.”

Galvin is married to fellow police officer, Sharon O’Gallagher, and apart from work and band practice is kept busy with two young children aged two-and-a-half and five months. His grandparents hail from Co. Clare and Co. Monaghan. ♦

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