Leinster Championships – results

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St. Joseph's Pipe Band.
St. Joseph's Pipe Band.
St.-Joseph's Pipe Band from Clondalkin.
St. Joseph’s Pipe Band from Clondalkin.

Ireland’s Leinster Pipe Band Championships took place at Swords Castle on Saturday, May 4, writes our Ireland and Northern Ireland correspondent. The competition, run by the Leinster branch of the Irish Pipe Band Association, was a great success and took place amid beautiful weather.

Our chieftain for the day was Anthony Lavin, the Mayor of Fingal County Council. Councillor Lavin was elected last June as Mayor. For those that don’t know, Fingal is one of three counties into which County Dublin was divided in 1994.

Swords Castle lies just north of the city of Dublin and is a great venue for a pipe band competition. It was built around 1200. A certain Laurence O’Toole became Archbishop around that time and chose Swords as his base. It may be of interest for Scots to know that Robert the Bruce sent his brother Edward here during a three-year military campaign in Ireland to create a second front in his ongoing war against England. They envisioned a grand Gaelic alliance between Scotland and Ireland. Although there is no evidence that Swords Castle had been attacked by Bruce’s forces, it was abandoned.

The castle was restored in 1998 and is now open to the public.

Senior Drum Major, Lisa Gates from the RSPBA’s Northern Ireland branch.
Senior Drum Major, Lisa Gates from the RSPBA’s Northern Ireland branch.

The full results were:

Mayor Lavin presents the Grade 3b runner-up trophy to Arklow Pipe Major, John Earls.
Mayor Lavin presents the Grade 3b runner-up trophy to Arklow Pipe Major, John Earls.

Open – 1. St Joseph’s Pipe Band; 2. New Ross & District.

Grade 3a – 1. St Joseph’s Pipe Band.
Best drum corps – St Joseph’s Pipe Band.

Grade 3b – Bessbrook Crimson Arrow; 2. Arklow Pipe Band; 3. Cullen Pipe Band.
Best drum corps – Arklow Pipe Band

Grade 4a – 1. Bessbrook Crimson Arrow; 2. Arklow Pipe Band; 3. Cullen Pipe Band.
Best drum corps – Cullen Pipe Band.

Grade 4b – 1. Carlow Pipe Band; 2. Youghal Pipe Band; 3. Black Raven Pipe Band.
Best drum corps – Carlow Pipe Band.

Hannah Creighton, daughter of SLoT leading tip Stephen Creighton is receives the Grade 3a Best Drum Corps prize for St. Joseph's Pipe Band.
Hannah Creighton, daughter of SLoT leading tip Stephen Creighton, receives the Grade 3a Best Drum Corps prize for St. Joseph’s Pipe Band.

Judges: Colin Moffet (piping) and Sandy Steele (drumming).

Photos: Christina Houlihan Tydings.

This Saturday, our attention over here will be at Ards in the County Down where the County Down Championships take place. We have over 30 bands taking part.

The draw is:

Grade 1 (an MSR) – Police Service of Northern Ireland (15:05); Field Marshal Montgomery (16:13).
Judges: George Wilson and William Garrett (piping); Mark Wilson (drumming) and Paul Turner (ensemble).

Grade 2 (medley)– Manorcunningham (15:30); Closkelt (15:37); Ravara (15:44).
Judges: Alvis Kerr and Harry Stevenson (piping); John Black (drumming) and John Moles (ensemble).

Grade 3a (an MSR) – Quinn Memorial (14:30); Battlehill (14:37); Drumlough (14:44); Thiepval Memorial (14:51); St. Mary’s Derrytrasna (14:58); Matt Boyd Memorial (15:05)
Judges: George Wilson and William Garrett (piping); Mark Wilson (drumming) and Paul Turner (ensemble).

Grade 3b (an MSR) – Kildoag, 4a (13:15); Cleland Memorial (13:23); Major Sinclair Memorial (13:31); McNeillstown (13:39); Augharan, 4a (13:47).
Judges: Alvis Kerr and Harry Stevenson (piping); John Black (drumming) and John Moles (ensemble).

Grade 4a (an MSR) – Bessbrook Crimson Arrow (12:00); Ballycoan (12:06); Kildoag (12:12); Cullybackey (12:18); Augharan (12:24); Clontibret (12:30); Gransha (12:36); Raphoe Ulster-Scots (12:42); Lisnamulligan (12:48).
Judges: George Wilson and William Garrett (piping); Mark Wilson (drumming) and Paul Turner (ensemble).

Grade 4B (a March selection) – Altnaveigh Memorial (12:00); Bready Ulster-Scots (12:06); Ballyboley (12:12); Major Sinclair Memorial (12:18); Broughshane & District (12:24); Syerla & District (12:30); Kirkistown (12:36); Mountjoy (12:42); William Kerr Memorial (12:48).
Judges: Alvis Kerr and Harry Stevenson (piping); John Black (drumming) and John Moles (ensemble).

The forecast is for a sunny afternoon at 12˚C and with occasional showers. I’ll bring bagpipe.news readers the results when I have them.