Alastair strikes gold at prestigious event

Pipe Bands by Mervyn McConnell

TWENTY six-year-old Alastair Dunn from Bangor was the worthy winner of the prestigious Northern Meeting Gold Medal for Piobaireachd held at Aviemore in Scotland last Thursday.

Competing against 30 other competitors, Alastair gave the performance of his career to win this outstanding victory. This is the first time the gold medal has been won by a pipet from Northern Ireland.

Alastair is Pipe Sergeant with world grade 1 champions Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band and is a piping specialist at the St. Kilda Group based in Glasgow who sponsor the band.

In 2004 he won the silver medal at the Northern Meeting, also taking second place in the Hornpipe and Jig and third place in the silver medal at the Argyllshire Gathering.

This amazing achievement for Alastair finishes off a brilliant year for him both as a sole piper and as a member of the 2006 champion pipe band of the world. Many congratulations to him on a great victory.

Winner Results, 1st. Alastair Dunn. 2nd. James Murray. 3rd. Iain Speirs. 4th. James MacHattie. 5th. John Angus Smith. Adjudicators. Ronnie Lawrie, Bill Livingstone, Ian McFadyen.

On Friday September 8 the Competing Soloists Organisation, in association with Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council, will present the Young Piper of the Year -a solo invitational piping competition in the Clubrooms of Dungannon Swifts Football Club at Strangmore Park. Adjudicator will be gold medal winner and top solo piper Stuart Liddell from Inverary who will give a short recital afterwards. Admission is £5.

The following Saturday, September 16, the All Ireland solo piping and drumming championships will take place at Newry High School.

A new band with the ultimate aim "to compete with the top Grade 1 bands" has been created in Northern Ireland. The band known as the Mid Ulster District Pipes and Drums will be led by Pipe Major Brendan Murphy and Leading Drummer Gary Corkin.

The idea for the new outfit came about as an idea from Sean Faloon, the former Pipe Major of St. Patrick's Donaghmore and David Brown, former leading drummer with Tullylagan, Finvoy and the RUC. The band will operate out of Castlecaulfield and the Donaghmore area.

Their first official meeting with be on September 18 at 8pm at the Bardic Theatre, Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone. "This is an opportunity that pipers and drummers from this area have never had before," said David Brown. "We have two of the finest leaders committed to this band and many pipers and drummers who are of Grade 1 and 2 standard.

"Pipe Major Brendan Murphy has just won the European and the Cowal titles with Strathclyde Police and has won many prizes with Field Marshal

Montgomery as well as winning the world Grade 3 title as Pipe Major with Killadeas. Leading Drummer Gary Corkin is the most successful leading drummer in Northern Ireland and the only leading drummer to lift the world title in Grade 1."

The 2006 "Pipe n'the Bann" took place last Saturday in Portglenone for the fifth year in succession.

Eighteen bands competed in different sections with the results as follows: -

Section A. 1st. Ballinderry Bridge. 2nd. Seven Towers. 3rd. Battlehill. 4th. Tamlaght O'Crilly.

Section B. 1st. Battlehill. 2nd. Aughintober. 3rd. Tamlaght O'Crilly. 4th. Drumlough.

Section C. 1st. Drumlough. 2nd. Gransha. 3rd. McNeillstown. 4th. Killadeas. 5th. Rasharkin.

Section D. 1st. Rasharkin. 2nd Killadeas. 3rd. Thiepval Memorial. 4th. Kilrea. 5th. Brocagh & District.

Ulster Star