RSPBA loses Northern Ireland executive to Spring Gatherin’
David Scott, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association’s Northern Ireland Branch Executive Secretary since 2005, resigned from the association on the evening of March 31st, according to sources “due to mounting pressure from the branch executive” over the controversial Spring Gatherin’ event and the RSPBA’s reported concerns about the event holding pipe band competitions not sanctioned by the association.
Scott has joined the organizational team of The Spring Gatherin’, and said in a statement, “Though it saddens me to resign my post with the RSPBANI, I felt it was time for me to make a move to new and exciting ventures in piping and drumming. I very much look forward to The Spring Gatherin’ this April, as well as developing our plans for it in the years to come.”
He was already on the board of directors of Dalriada Events, the company behind The Spring Gatherin’ and sister company of the successful Belfast Tattoo.
An insider who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “David has been 100% forthright about his involvement in The Spring Gatherin’ with the [RSPBANI] Executive, but mumblings of ‘conflict of interest’ and ‘you should consider where your loyalties lie’ have forced him to make this move.”
The Spring Gatherin’ earlier decided to cancel its competitions in favour of unjudged performances, claiming that participating bands had been threatened with suspension by RSPBA officials if they took part.
David Scott is a drummer with the non-competing Drumlough Pipe Band of Rathfriland, Northern Ireland, and is well regarded and liked among Ulster pipers and drummers.
Colin Wasson, director of The Spring Gatherin’, said, “We are delighted that David has made the move to devote even more of his time and energies to The Spring Gatherin’. David has a wealth of knowledge and experience in promoting pipe band events and initiatives and he has played a key role in getting The Spring Gatherin’ off the ground.”
A combination of performances and workshops, the Spring Gatherin’ is scheduled for April 24-26 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast. The event is in part modelled on the successful Winter Storm event held annually in January in Kansas City, Missouri.