50th Limerick International Band Championship – Overall winners Mullingar Town Band pictured on the streets of Limerick. Picture: Don Moloney
25,000 people plus lined the streets of Limerick for Ireland’s only marching band competition
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.
Performances at the 50th Limerick International Band Championship were judged by Captain Brian Prendergast, retired Irish Defence Forces, and Dr Evelyn Grant and Niall Carroll both from RTE Lyric fm.
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.
The Panoramic Wheel at Arthur’s Quay Park remains open until 21 April allowing you to soar above the city and take in the stunning 360 degree views across Limerick’s skyline on the spectacular 38 metre panoramic wheel. It’s sky-high fun for all the family.
Grooveyard is producing this year’s Limerick St Patrick’s Festival on behalf of Limerick City and County Council along with partners Analog Devices, Mr Binman, Maldron Hotel and Fáilte Ireland.
Media Sponsors are Limerick Leader, Live 95, Limerick Post, Spin South West and I Love Limerick.
For the most up-to-date details check out Limerick.ie/StPatricksFestival
For more stories on International Band Championship go HERE
Pictures: Kris Luszczki/ilovelimerick
Pictures: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick
Pictures: Ava O’Donoghue/ilovelimerick