EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum recruits singing retired NYPD veterans for Christmas campaign

David Murphy

EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum, has launched its 2023 Christmas campaign, featuring a choir of NYPD veterans, correcting a musical myth at the heart of The Pogues’ classic 'Fairytale of New York'.

The most played Christmas song of the 21st century, ‘Fairytale of New York’ features the classic chorus “...the boys of the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay…” But there was never a NYPD choir, nor did they ever sing Galway Bay… until now.

So, 36 years after the initial Pogues’ record release, creative agency, The Public House, in conjunction with EPIC, recruited a handpicked group of retired NYPD officers, joined by a local amateur choir, to gather in a recording studio in the heart of New York City to lend their voices to the beloved ‘Galway Bay’.

The result is an enthusiastic rendition of Galway Bay – a timeless Irish song, penned by emigrant Dr. Arthur Colahan as a tribute to his homeland and his brother, complemented by a music video that Irish diaspora all over the world can resonate with. The track is available in a special, limited edition 7-inch vinyl release, supported with social, digital, press, and OOH.

From 1 December until the end of January 2024, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum will be running a supporting exhibition titled, ‘They Gave The Walls A Talking – the Extraordinary Story of The Pogues and Shane MacGowan’, developed in collaboration with Hot Press.

The campaign supports EPIC’s mission of recognising the vital contributions and monumental impact Irish people have made worldwide and to encourage the diaspora – many of who are in the United States – to return to their homeland and visit the museum.

"At EPIC, we take immense pride in highlighting the stories and accomplishments of Irish emigrants, demonstrating that Irish identity transcends the geographical boundaries of our island,” said Aileesh Carew, CEO of EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. “With that in mind, what better way to celebrate this than by giving life to an Irish emigrant ballad, performed by retired NYPD officers, all of whom proudly share Irish heritage. This Christmas, we hope that the NYPD Choir's rendition of 'Galway Bay' will be shared far and wide, both at home and abroad."