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Posted by Connor McCleery on 28 August 2014 9:07 PM

It is with great regret that the committee of the RSPBANI Co Antrim Section have taken the unfortunate decision to cancel the proposed championships in Glenarm Castle on the 6th September. 

This has not been an easy decision to make and is tinged with great sadness. 

We would like to thank the drum majors and bands who had entered our rescheduled event and trust that you understand our decision. 

We hope to welcome you all back to Co Antrim in the summer of 2015. 

On behalf of:
Alistair McCleery,
Co. Antrim Section Secretary

Posted by Ian Burrows on 24 August 2014 9:37 PM

A reminder that the closing date for the County Antrim Section competition at Glenarm Castle on Saturday 6th of September closes on Tuesday 26th August at 2 pm. 

The support of bands would be greatly appreciated by the County Antrim Section for their rearranged competiton at this beautiful venue.

Posted by Alistair McCleery on 5 August 2014 9:15 PM

Entries are now invited for the competition on the 6th Sept.in Glenarm Castle.

Posted by Alistair McCleery on 3 August 2014 9:53 PM

After the bitter disappointment of having to cancel our competition at Sandy Bay in June due to appalling weather conditions,the section are pleased to announce that the competition will go ahead on Saturday 6th September 2014.

The Section are delighted that Viscount & Viscountess Dunluce have generously agreed to host the event at Glenarm Castle.

Councillor Tommy Nichol, President of the County Antrim Section commented that, "The section is indebted to Viscount & Viscountess Dunluce for their kindness in offering this magnificent venue of Glenarm Castle for the competition. Our thanks go out also to Larne  Borough council for their continued support of the Championships."

Due to circumstances beyond our control we are hosting this event outside our normal competition season.

The Section recognises that some Bands & Drum Majors have prior commitments on this day and we would like to  assure you that we will work with those individuals and bands to facilitate them to attend other functions.

The section committee having considered all options, plan to start the competition @ 10am & finish promptly at 16.00 at the latest, with your cooperation.

Grade 2 will play first, followed by the remaining grades. Judging for Drum Major will also commence promptly at 10am.The Drum majors will compete on the Front lawn of the Castle where the Finale will  also take place .The Finale will take the format of a Massed Band (further details will follow).The Pipe Band contest will take place on the rear lawn of the Castle.

An agreement has been reached and Motorhomes will be permitted to park on the estate .

Admission on the day will be free and the Section appreciates your continued support.

This is a beautiful venue and one which we hope we will be able to utilise in the future..

Posted by Ian Burrows on 4 July 2014 8:20 PM

The County Antrim Championships have now been rescheduled to take place on Saturday 6th of September, the venue will be in the grounds of the picturesque Glenarm Castle.

Further details will follow in due course.

Posted by Ian Burrows on 8 June 2014 2:22 PM

All of the RSPBANI Branch want to express their extreme disappointment  that  the Larne contest could not proceed yesterday despite the huge effort that the Co Antrim Section and Larne Council had put in to stage one of the largest contests of the year . Ground conditions were deteriorating to such an extent that health and safety risks had to come into the considerations as well as the problems the incessant rain could pose to the instruments, especially with the UK Championships at Stormont next Saturday. The RSPBANI Branch will work with the Co Antrim section over the next few days to explore every possibility of rearranging the event to a date later on in the year.

Ray Hall, Branch Chairman said;  ‘ I personally feel a great empathy with the Co Antrim Section who after a very emotional meeting, together with Branch Officers , had to make the decision that the contest could not go ahead.  A similar decision had to be made at Enniskillen last year but most of the contest did take place. It was even more heart wrenching to not be able to start.

Last year I and the Co Fermanagh Section were heartened by the messages of support we received from bands and others.  I have no doubt that this support will be extended this year to the Co Antrim section and if the contest can be rearranged as many bands, drum majors and supporters as possible will make every effort to attend.’’

He went on to say that the raw emotions and huge disappointment that were so evident from all who had to make such a decision was a testament to the hours of work, passion and commitment that is required to promote and stage a pipe band contest 

Posted by Ian Burrows on 5 June 2014 5:10 PM

There is no overnight parking permitted in Sandy Bay. Camper vans can park opposite the park in the back carpark at the leisure centre or along the seafront.

Posted by Ian Burrows on 1 June 2014 11:08 PM

The County Antrim Pipe Band and Drum Major Championships, organised by the Co Antrim Section of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland, will be held at Sandy Bay Playing Fields, Larne on Saturday 7th June.  The event was officially launched last Saturday afternoon (31st May) when three Co Antrim pipe bands (Ballyboley, Ballydonaghy and Major Sinclair Memorial) joined at the bandstand in Larne town centre and played a great selection of foot tapping tunes including, ‘Amazing grace’, ‘Scotland the brave’, Highland Cathedral’ and ‘The battle’s O’er’ to name but a few.  The launch event gave lunch time shoppers a foretaste of next Saturday’s great feast of music and entertainment which will feature over 41 pipe bands from through the province

Three Co Antrim pipe bands (Ballyboley, Ballydonaghy and Major Sinclair Memorial) pictured after playing at the bandstand in Larne town centre last Saturday afternoon (31st May) at the launch of the ‘County Antrim Pipe Band Championships’ which will be held at Sandy Bay Playing Fields, Larne on Saturday 7th June.  Included are Councillor Maureen Morrow (Mayor of Larne), John Fittis (Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band), Catherine Wetherup (Ballyboley Pipe Band) and Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland (Co Antrim Section) officers - Councillor Tommy Nicholl MBE (President), Alistair McCleery (Secretary), Arlene Graham (Treasurer) and Councillor Beth Adger (Assistant Treasurer).  Alistair and Arlene are members of Ballydonaghy Pipe Band.