Friday 18 August 2017

Pipers clean up at international championship

Grainne Cunningham

ONE of the country's oldest pipe bands has won the top prize at the world pipe band championships in Glasgow.

The St Laurence O'Toole pipe band, which is based in Tallaght, Dublin, played its way to victory against 239 bands from 11 countries.

Pipe Major Terry Tully said the 40 members of the band celebrated until 8am yesterday after winning the most prestigious competition for pipe bands.

St Laurence O'Toole, which was originally set up 100 years ago in the parish of the same name, close to the Five Lamps in Dublin's north city centre, came third in the competition last year.

This year, the band was also honoured with an invitation to play in Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall before a sell-out audience of over 2,000 people.

They played a mix of Breton, Scottish, Italian, Galician, contemporary and Irish tunes on Wednesday night before competing in the championships on Saturday.

The band are the current European and All-Ireland champions. Mr Tully said he believes the secret to their success is "brainwashing".

"I think it is the fact that we have been able to keep the same people around us for so long, they are listening to the same things from me for so long, they have probably been brainwashed into doing it the right way," he said.

The band's members come from around Ireland, as well as from Scotland, England, Canada and South Africa.

St Laurence O'Toole has been based in Tallaght for 10 years, after the loss of their practice venue in the city centre.

The band was first formed at a meeting organised by the St Laurence O'Toole Gaelic Athletic Association Club in the CBS school, Seville Place, Dublin.

The main mover in forming the band was Frank Cahill, a school teacher and Alderman of Dublin Corporation and later a member of the new Irish parliament (Dail Eireann).

Present at the first meeting of the band were Padraig Pearse, Thomas Clarke, Sean McDermott, Arthur Griffith, Douglas Hyde ,and playwright Sean O'Casey, Mr Tully said.

Irish Independent

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