The largest gathering of musicians in Mayo this year will take place in Ballina this Saturday. The event, the All-Ireland Pipe Band Championships, is also expected to attract 4,000 people.
Pipe bands from all over Ireland will gather in the grounds of Ballina Rugby Club to compete in different grades with the ultimate goal to be crowned the All-Ireland Pipe Band Champions. There will be plenty of Mayo interest in the competition, with the Achill and Crimlin Batafada Pipe Bands competing in Grade 4a and 4b categories.
The Mayo bands, who have been practising hard all winter, will hope the home support in Ballina will help them deliver good performances on the day. Achill, the current grade 4b All-Ireland Champions, have had a good run in recent competitions and will be hoping to be in the honours in grade 4a.
A number of Mayo pipers are also playing for the Dublin-based St Laurence O’ Toole’s Pipe Band, who were the 2010 World Champions are considered one of the best pipe bands in the world.
The All-Ireland Pipe Band Championships is a great family day out with fantastic music, entertainment, food outlets and bar service. The County Development Board, Ballina Rugby Club, Ballina Town Council, Moy Valley Resources and Ballina Chamber of Commerce are all working together to ensure the event will be a big success on the day.
Drivers on the Sligo and Quay Roads in Ballina are asked to drive with care on Saturday, July 7, as the volume of traffic is set to increase in the area in the morning and evening.
A Limited number of discounted concession tickets are available for families and groups until July 4, from €5 per family. For further information contact the Ballina Tourist Office on 096 72800 or Moy Valley Resources on 096 70905.