Mullingar Town Band have been named as the overall winners of the 50th Limerick International Band Championship – Ireland’s only marching band competition.
After a gap of two years, the Limerick International Band Championship returned with 15 bands comprising around 800 musicians helping to lift the spirits of the more than 25,000 spectators who lined the streets of Limerick.
Bands from Limerick and across Ireland, the United States, the Netherlands, England, Northern Ireland, marched down Limerick city centre as part of the Limerick St Patrick’s Festival 2022.
The band was presented with the Kenneally Jewellers Perpetual Trophy as overall winners of the championship.
The winners in the other categories were:
- Best International Band – Toeternietoe Fest, Best, The Netherlands
- Best Youth Band – Banna Cluain Meala, Clonmel, Tipperary
- Best Local Band – City of Limerick Pipe Band
- Best Musical Performance – Mullingar Town Band
- Best Uniform – St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band, Limerick
- Most Entertaining Performance – Friendship Band, Northern Ireland
- Sammy Benson Award – Redemptorists Centre of Music Concert Band, Limerick
- Special Judges’ Award (Colour Guard) – Cedar Rapids Metro Marching Band, Iowa, USA
- Special Judges’ Award (Pipe Band) – Killorglin and District Pipe Band
- Special Judges’ Award (Outstanding Instrumentalist) – Pyjama Band – lead trumpet player
Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Tom Ruddle said, “it was absolutely amazing, just exceptional musical talent on display. There was such high energy and high entertainment on show today. It was fantastic that we saw the return of the International Band Championship to the streets of Limerick. The people of Limerick came out in force again to support the bands. Huge congratulations to all involved.”
Bands performed at the reviewing stand for three minutes as part of the judging process with the winners announced during a jamboree at Arthur’s Quay Park following the competition.
The judge panel said, “the entire championship was really amazing, considering that these bands have been in a ‘deep freeze’ for the last two years. To have so many participants and in such great numbers, it was a really joyous occasion. We knew the music would be good but the spirit of the festival was just extraordinary. The crowd was in great form too, they really enjoyed the music.”
“One of the things that struck the judging panel was how marvellous the bands were. They really loved marching and performing and they were all so intergenerational, with one band having a seven-year-old pipe band major.”
Former members of the band led by Sammy Benson gave a special performance at the reviewing stand to honour the man who was synonymous with marching bands in Limerick. Sammy passed away in 2020, and this was the first time members of the band could gather to officially say goodbye.
The Limerick International Band Championship was part of the Limerick St Patrick’s Festival 2022.
Source: Limerick City & County Council