Mullingar Town Band has been named the overall winner of the 50th International Limerick Championship – Ireland’s only band competition.
After a two-year hiatus, the Limerick International Band Championship is back and 15 bands of nearly 800 musicians have helped cheer the more than 25,000 spectators lined up in the streets of Limerick.
Teams from Limerick and from across Ireland, the United States, the Netherlands, England and Northern Ireland raced through downtown Limerick as part of the 2022 St Patrick’s Festival.
The band received the Kenneally Jewelers Perpetual Trophy as the tournament’s overall winners.
The winners in the other categories are:
Best International Band – Toeternietoe Festival, Best, The Netherlands
Best Youth Band – Banna Cluain Meala, Clonmel, Tipperary
Best Local Band – Limerick City Pipe Band
Best Musical Performance – Mullingar Town Ensemble
Best Uniform – St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band, Limerick
Best Entertainment Performance – Friendship Squad, Northern Ireland
Sammy Benson Award – Orchestra for the Redemptorists Center, Limerick
Special Judges Award (Lone Ranger) – Cedar Rapids Metro Marching, Iowa, USA
Special Judges Award (Pipe Band) – Killorglin and District Pipe Band
Special Judges Award (Outstanding Player) – Pajama Band – Main Trumpet
Cllr Tom Ruddle, Deputy Mayor of Limerick City and County, said: “He was absolutely amazing, just exceptional musical talent on display. There was so much energy and so much entertainment on display today.
“It was great to see the band’s international championship again on the streets of Limerick. The people of Limerick came out strong once again in support of the bands.
“Congratulations to all participants.”
Bands performed at the three-minute review booth as part of the judging process and the winners were announced at a concert at Arthur’s Quay Park after the competition.
Performances at the 50th International Limerick Championships were judged by Captain Brian Prendergast, retired Irish Defense Forces, and Dr Evelyn Grant and Niall Carroll, both of RTE Lyric fm.
The judges said: “The whole tournament has been really great because these teams have been in a ‘deep freeze’ for the past two years. With so many participants and in great numbers it was a very happy occasion.
“We knew the music was going to be good, but the spirit of the festival was extraordinary.
“The crowd was also at its best, they really enjoyed the music.
“One of the things that surprised the judges was how amazing the bands were. They really loved to march and perform and they were all from different generations, with one band starring a seven-year-old.”
Former members of the band led by Sammy Benson made a special appearance at the review booth to honor the man who was synonymous with bands in Limerick. Sami passed away in 2020 and it was the first time the band members got together to say an official goodbye.
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