New Ross was a hive of activity last Saturday when a total of 33 pipe bands descended on the park for the All -Ireland Pipe Band Championships.
The All-Ireland Pipe Band Championships is an annual event which alternates between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The event first took place in 1946 in Dublin, having been instigated by a Belfast man, Eddie McVeigh – who, when on a visit to Dublin – heard the sound of a pipe band playing in a hall just off Parnell Square.
The band playing was the famous Fintan Lalor Pipe Band and after some jovial conversation about which jurisdiction had the best bands, it was decided to hold a championship to decide the matter. The championships have taken place every year since apart from the past two Covid Pandemic years.
This year was the fifth time the event has been held in New Ross and the town has become a very popular destination for pipers and drummers from all over Ireland.
For the local New Ross and District band, it was a great opportunity to show case the progress the band has made over recent decades.
The local band fielded two separate competition bands in two different grades and they also loaned a group of 5 drummers to the De la Salle Scout Pipe Band from Waterford City, which allowed them to compete at the All-Ireland.
Band mentors were delighted with all the performances and were thrilled that the band’s development band featured in the prize lists in Grade 4B , winning 3rd. prize against some very stiff opposition.
The band were also delighted that their young Drum Major, Louis Anderson, won second prize in the Juvenile Drum Major Grade.
Cllr Michael Sheehan who was recently elected as Chairman of the New Ross Municipal District had the honour of acting as Chieftain for the Day, and taking the salute from each pipe band present during the Grand Finale and March Past of bands.
The local New Ross band provided the national anthem at the end of the day, while senior Pipe Major Ciaran Mac Murchaidh of the New Ross and District band played the traditional lament for deceased members at the end of the March Past.
The entire event was professionally compered by local woman Linda Grace, with plenty of places to buy food and treats.
Local man Brian Mac Mahon, who is Chairman of the Irish Pipe Band Association, expressed his sincere thanks to his very hard-working local committee of Matt and Bid Ryan, Anne Marie Walsh , Michael Walsh, Mary Rowe, Tommy O’Connor, Trish O’Callaghan, Owen Murphy, Pat Fenlon, Sarah O’Connor and Anthony Murphy.
Brian also expressed his sincere thanks to Cllr Anthony Connick and Municipal District Manager Mick McCormack who helped to secure the funding for the event and to the crew of local council workers who were of huge assistance on the day and in the preparations for the event.