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Posted by Ian Burrows on 23 May 2013 4:24 PM

The draw for the County Antrim Championships in Carrickfergus is now online, please click here to view 

Posted by Alistair McCleery on 22 May 2013 10:18 PM

The final preparations are now in place for annual Pipe Band and Drum Majors Championships.This is a special year for the County Antrim Section which are hosting their 40th Championships and will be held in Woodburn Playing Fields, Woodburn Road, Carrickfergus under the kind auspices of Carrickfergus Borough Council.

There will be a shuttle bus running to the town centre for all you keen shoppers,unfortuately the Council are not allowing any overnight parking this year for Camper Vans in the playing fields.

The competition will start at 11.30 with Grade 4B taking to the line 1st , followed shortly by 4A at 12.00 noon.Drum Majors dress is due to start at 11am.Draw is now avaiable on the website.

So come along and support our section in this years contest and enjoy once again some of the best bands in the country...

Full Draw is available here. See you there.

Posted by Alistair McCleery on 5 June 2012 4:15 PM

On behalf of the RSPBNI Co.Antrim Section, I would like to respond to a number of issues raised after the event on Saturday 2nd June at Ballmoney Rugby Club.

We are aware of the problems  with the car park.The Rugby club placed tight restrictions upon us with regard to parking within the club grounds and as a result they assured us that they would be providing a suitable parking facility in the adjoining field as well as another field on the other side of the road. We fought long and hard to bring the price of parking down to a minimum,as they were insisting on a charge to cover costs of 'hiring'the field.They had set a price of £5 per car which we blankly refused to accept. After a long period of negotiation they agreed to reduce this fee to £3. We were still not happy with this but as we were using this facility we needed parking of some sort as there was no other parking avaibable to us. The car park money went entirely to the Rugby club.

The fee at the gate was for the Section to help to fund this event. Contests are becoming increasingly expensive to run and money from the sponsors, council etc.is becoming increasingly hard to obtain and the restrictions on this money is becoming tighter and tighter. We, as a section ,aim to provide a successful competition but we are reliant on our sponsors and our hosts for much of the the practical running of the event. We took the club at their word that they would provide a suitable car park, but unfortunately by the time we were able to inspect the car park it was too late to make alternative arrangements.

As a section we made the decision a number of years ago to provide competitors with the BEST possible competition we could and this means investing in a full panel of judges, i.e 2 Piping,1 drumming & Ensemble.Most bands seem to appreciate having 4 judges but for us as a section this means considerably higher costs. This year, for example we were allocated 5 Judges from Scotland.This meant 5 return flights & 5 rooms in a hotel for 2 nights as well as taxi fares etc..A couple of years ago we also made the decision to waiver the entry fee for the bands and drum majors. Alongside this we also INCREASED our PRIZE MONEY,which is considerable higher than most other section competitions. To compensate for these changes  we were forced to make a charge at the gate. We would love to offer our vistors a totally free day out but sadly nothing is free these days and most of the general public understand this. We certainly do not run this contest with the aim of making money.

We would also like to clear up the matter of raffle tickets. The Co. Antrim Section were NOT selling raffle tickets on Saturday. The only tickets on sale were from the Rugby Club.

We would like to thank everyone who attended the contest on Saturday and we thank you for your feedback.

Feedback is taken on board so that we can improve in the future,which is something we all want to do. Best Wishes for the rest of the season to ALL Bands and Drum Majors.

See you ALL next year for our 40th Co.Antrim Championships in Carrickferus D.V

Alistair McCleery

Posted by Alistair McCleery on 18 May 2012 10:15 PM


Ballymoney Rugby Football Club will permit overnight parking on Fri 1st June before the championships,there will a small fee of  £10 /van.All vans MUST PARK AS INSTRUCTED BY Ballymoney RFC .Vans will be allowed in the grounds from 16.30-22.00.NO ADMISSION WILL BE ALLOWED AFTER THIS....

Ballymoney Borough Council will also be putting on a shuttle bus to run between the Town centre & also the Ballymoney Agricultural Show in the showgrounds,this bus will run all day and stop for the Finale.This bus will run every 30mins,So please support this shuttle bus.


 Thankyou for your co-opertion on this

Posted by Admin on 3 April 2012 12:50 PM

The Co. Antrim Championships will take place at Ballymoney Rugby Club on Saturday the 2nd June 2012. The event is being kindly sponsored by Ballymoney Burough Council.

The closing date for entries is Saturday 12th May 2012.

Posted by Alistair McCleery on 23 February 2012 7:11 PM

Following our latest meeting of the Co.Antrim section last Tuesday it has been passed again for this years competition, that there will be NO ENTRY FEE for DRUM MAJORS or BANDS.

So can  I appeal for all drum majors & bands to make a special effort to attend this years contest In Ballymoney RFC under the hospices of Ballymoney Borough Council. This is going to be a special day for Ballymoney as it is their annual Ballymoney Agricultral Show in the Ballymoney Showgrounds from 9am - 4pm & the Co.Antrim Championships in Ballymoney RFC.  More details will follow shortly including entry  form details...

Posted by Alistair McCleery on 23 February 2012 6:49 PM
Seven Towers Pipe Band presents "U B The Judge" Invitional solos, N. Ireland's premier entertaining solo piping competition. The crowd judges the best 4 at the end of the night with a Perpetual Cup and top prize money over 4 prizes.
Date: Saturday 3rd March 2012
Time: 7.30pm sharp
Venue: Michelin Athletic Club, Ballymena
Each player gives a 15 minute recital.
The draw is as follows:
Alan Glenholmes (Cullybackey)
Sydney Moore (Strathclyde Police)
Glen Cupples (Unattached)
Ross Hume (Cullybackey)
Robert Black (Cullybackey)
Andy Wilson (Unattached)
Richard McGrath (Bellaghy)

Emmett Conway (Field Marshal Montgomery)
Amos Gilmore (Seven Towers)
Kris Coyle (Field Marshal Montgomery)
Alan Ferguson (Matt Boyd Mem)
Bradley Parker (Cottown)
Scott Barr (Ravara)
Scott Wallace (Field Marshal Montgomery)

Hope to see you there!
Posted by Alistair McCleery on 17 October 2011 6:25 PM

Preliminary Notice....

The Co.Antrim championships will be held on Sat 2nd June 2012 at Ballymoney Rugby Football Club, Kilraughts Road, Ballymoney in conjunction with Ballymoney Borough Council.

Further details will follow.