Belfast Telegraph

In Pictures: European Pipe Band Championships

By Lisa Smyth

The 2012 European Pipe Band Championships culminated in drama as the favourites to win the event were pushed into second place.

Lisburn-based Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, seven times RSPBA World Pipe Band Champions and one of the most successful pipe bands in history, narrowly missed clinching the coveted first place in the competition.

Instead, Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band from Scotland were declared overall winners of the prestigious event after a splendid performance at Stormont Estate at the weekend.

On Saturday, drum majors, highland dancers and over 120 pipe bands from all over the British Isles and Europe descended on the grounds of Stormont for the third consecutive year.

Thousands of people around the world also logged on to the internet to catch the live stream of the competition.

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster congratulated participants on the high standard of competition: “Every year the standard of competition is high but this year we have seen something extra special.

“Performances started early and the atmosphere and activities on offer have provided a wonderful experience for locals and tourists alike.”

She continued: “Pipe bands are an important part of Northern Ireland's culture and I believe it is vitally important that we ensure that traditions such as this are preserved, promoted and developed.

“As well as the obvious economic benefits that cultural tourism generates, events like this reinforce Northern Ireland's growing reputation for successfully hosting major events.

“Many people have travelled to Belfast for these championships and I hope they have enjoyed a day that I’m sure they will remember for a long time to come.”

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