Published: March 31, 2008

Updated: Malahide Festival cancelled, new contest being organized

The popular Malahide International Festival of Piping & Drumming has been cancelled reportedly due to financial problems with the organizers. The contest had been held for the last 10 years and had been scheduled for May 9th and 10th.

But the County Down section of the RSPBA’s Northern Ireland Branch has stepped in to plan an outdoor contest for May 17th. Likely venues Banbridge High School or the Outlet Shopping Centre in Banbridge, near Belfast.

“It is hoped all bands including St. Laurence O’Toole and Field Marshal Montgomery will participate as part of their preparation for Dumbarton on May 24th,” said branch secretary Mervin Herron. The proposed new event would also replace an indoor full-band competition organized by the RSPBA’s Northern Ireland Branch in Banbridge, which was also recently cancelled.

Located near Dublin, the Malahide Grade 1 contest in 2007 was won for the first time by a band other than Field Marshal Montgomery, when St. Laurence O’Toole took the prize. Irish bands had liked the May event because it proved to be an effective warm-up before the RSPBA’s first major, usually the Scottish Championships at Dumbarton, Scotland.The event was held on the grounds of Malahide Castle, a popular tourist attraction.

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