No stopping Field Marshal Montgomery

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

THE 61st All Ireland Pipe Band Championships were held in the scenic town of Letterkenny Donegal last Saturday.

It was a fierce day of competition in all grades as bands from both the north and south of Ireland battled it out to become this year's All Ireland champions.

In Grade 1 there was no stopping Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from adding yet another All Ireland trophy to their amazing collection of 16 Grade 1 All Ireland titles. No other band from Ulster has ever come near this achievement.

Field Marshal have won the title consistently over the years except when in 2000 Scottish Power was the first band from outside Ireland to win the grade. Field Marshal didn't have it all their own way though as St. Laurence O'Toole claimed the prize for winning the MSR and 1st in drumming but lost to Field Marshal Montgomery who won the medley and were second in the MSR to win best piping and first overall.

The weather was showery at times but it did not stop thousands of pipe band enthusiasts from both the north and south of Ireland and further afield gathering to hear the cream of Ireland's best.

In Grade 2 Killeen under Pipe Major Philip Boyce retained the title they won last year. They won best pipes best drums and best bass section to take the championship trophy in style. Grade 3A was won by Pipe Major Mark Faloon and his Battlehill band who have dominated this grade this season so far. Arklow won best drums and Battlehill took the best bass section and marching and deportment.

Grade 3B was won by Gortaclare who also won best drums.

Drumlough with Pipe Major Ian Burrows had a pleasing result in Grade 4A when they clinch the overall first placing. Dromara took best drums and St. Lawrence Howth best bass section.

Rasharkin under the leadership of Pipe Major Michael Speers took top honours in 4B by winning best drums best bass section and overall first placing.

The 2006 All Ireland Drum Majors were Laura Abraham (Battlehill) in the novice grade; Sharon Martin (Letterkenny) in the junior grade; Ryan ferry (Aughintober) the juvenile and Paula Braiden (Ballycoan) first place in the senior grade.

There will be a two-week break in the competition season but it will re-commence again on Saturday 22nd July with the North Down Championships held at Bangor Co. Down and commencing at 12 noon.

The European Championships will be on July 29 in Greenock when many of the Ulster bands will travel over to compete at this the third major of the season.

The members of the Northern Ireland branch of the RSPBA are saddened to hear of the death of Mrs Rea Gibson who died last week.

Sincere sympathy is offered to son James who pipes with Bleary Pipe Band and daughter Clare a piper with Ravara

Robert Grant formerly a member of Ravara Pipe band also died last week and again sympathy is extended to all family and friends.

Results 2006 All Ireland:

Grade 1.

1st. Field Marshal Montgomery. (also best piping) 2nd.St.Laurence O'Toole. (also best drums). 3rd.Strathclyde Police. (also M&D) 4th.Ballycoan. (also best bass section)

Grade 2.

1st. Killeen (also best pipes, best drums and best bass section) 2nd.Ravara. 3rd.Cullybackey. 4th. University of Luton.

Grade 3A.

1st. Battlehill (also best pipes best bass section and M&D) 2nd. Arklow (also best drums). 3rd.Annsborough. 4th.Banbridge.

Grade 3B.

1st. Gortaclare (also best drums). 2nd.Cottown. (also best pipes). 3rd.Cullen. 4th.Aughintober. Ballydonaghy won best bass section

Grade 4A.

1st. Drumlough. (also best pipes) 2nd. New York City Fire Dept. 3rd. Dromara. (also best drums). 4th. St.Laurence Howth (also best bass section)

Grade 4B.

1st. Rasharkin (also best drums and best bass section.) 2nd. Killadeas. 3rd. Derryclavin. 4th. Irvine memorial (also best pipes

Novice Drum Majors.

1st. Laura Abraham. 2nd. Rachael Caldwell. 3rd. Dionne Woods. 4th. Emma Barr. 5th. Lauren Hanna.

Junior. 1st.

Sharon Martin. 2nd. Lorna Robinson. 3rd. Samantha Gordon. 4th. Kiera Wilson. 5th. Gary Scanlon.


1st. Ryan Ferry. 2nd. Donna Gillespie. 3rd. Caroline Clydesdale. 4th. Emma Chambers. 5th.Gemma McKinney.

Senior. .

1st Paula Braiden. 2nd. Ian Young. 3rd. David Brownlee. 4th. Brian Wilson.5th. Kathy Megarry.

Ulster Star