Big thank you from

Special merit award for Noel in Malahide  

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE sixth Festival of Piping and Drumming organised by Malahide Pipe band took place last Saturday at Malahide Castle with 34 bands from all over Ireland competing for major prize wins.

This was the first outdoor event of the new season and many spectators gathered in the sunshine to enjoy the spectacle and colour of the pipe bands and drum majors.

Chieftain of the Day was Noel Donohoe who was Chairman of the Irish Pipe Band association for over 15 years and who is also an honorary Vice President of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association. Noel is also the first person to receive the special award for service to Irish Piping from the Malahide Festival of Piping and Drumming.

It was a clean sweep for Grade 1 Field Marshal Montgomery when they gave a magnificent display of piping and drumming under their Pipe Major Richard Parkes and new Leading Tip Keith Orr to win 1st in the MSR, 1st in the Medley and winner of the best drum corps.

In Grade 2 Bleary & District under the leadership of Pipe Major Nigel Davidson and Leading Tip Ian Lawson had a brilliant start to their season when they won first prize in both piping and drumming.

First place in Grade 3 went to Finvoy under the direction of Pipe Major Chris Getty, who were competing for their first time since getting promotion to this grade. The best drum corps was won again by Londonderry band Tullintrain under their new Leading Tip Ian Gillespie.

Mountfield won Grade 4 under their new Pipe Major K. Heaney with Gransha under Leading Tip Sammy Smyth winning best drums. Grade 5 was won by Pipe Major Caldwell Hamilton and Cleland Memorial Pipe Band with McNeillstown taking the trophy for best drums.

Jonathan Greenlees was the winner of the solo competition held on the Friday. evening as part of the Malahide Festival.

On Wednesday, May 21 there will be an Evening of Music and Education organised by the Ulster-Scots Heritage and funded by the Ulster-Scots Agency. It will take place at Belfast Castle commencing at 7.00pm. The entertainment will be provided by Monkstown Mossley and North Belfast Pipe Bands with solo artists Robert Watt and Emma Culbert

Major Richard Powell (retired) will give a talk entitled 'Pipers and their tales' during this evening of entertainment. He himself is an ex piper and a lecturer on the History of Pipe band Music. He was chief administrator of the Edinburgh Tattoo and the Berlin Tattoo and is a gifted and knowledgeable speaker.

Tickets are free but the venue only holds 150 so it is advisable to reserve your place. This can be done by telephoning John Crozier on 028 91 479060 or the Ulster-Scots centre on 90 746939.

On Saturday, May 17, the first of this year's five majors will take place in Dumbarton Scotland with the Scottish Pipe Band Championships. This was the only major which Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe band failed to win last year and they will be striving to rectify this on Saturday.

The adjudicators for Grade 1 will be George Summors and Alistair Aitken (Scotland) and David McConnell and Gordon Parkes (Northern Ireland).

The May 31 is the date of the Co. Fermanagh Championships, which will be held in Celtic Park Enniskillen. There are 40 bands entered for this event and the adjudicators will be Denver Cardwell and Winston Pollock for piping, and Colin Brown and Gordon Parkes for drumming.

Results of Malahide Festival.
Grade 5 1st Cleland memorial; 2nd.Mcneillstown (also best drums); 3rd.Letterkenny & District.
Grade 4 1st. Mountfield; 2nd.Annsborough; 3rd.Seven Towers. Best Drums -Gransha.
Grade 3 1st. Finvoy; 2nd.Woodgrange; 3rd.Black Raven. Best Drums -Tullintrain.
Grade 2 1st. Bleary & District. (also best drums); 2nd.Ballinderry Bridge; 3rd.Upper Crossgare.
Grade 1 1st.Field Marshal Montgomery (MSR, Medley and Best Drums); 2nd St. Laurence O'Toole; 3rd.Bleary & District.
Drum Majors. Novice Juvenile. 1st. L. Hamilton; 2nd.S.Gordon; 3rd.J.McKee
Junior 1st.Ryan Ferry; 2nd.Laura J. Lawson; 3rd. Elizabeth Sloan.
Juvenile 1st.Danielle Sharvin; 2nd.Barry Purcell; 3rd.Teresa McMechan
Senior 1st.Brian Wilson; 2nd.David Brownlee; 3rd.Paula Braiden.

Ulster Star