Carrickfergus hosts ‘magnificent’ evening of military music by Massed Bands
Another chapter in Carrick’s long military history was written on Saturday evening when the Massed Bands of the army’s four Irish regiments performed together in Northern Ireland for the first time 35 years.
Carrickfergus Castle provided the backdrop to displays by the bands of the Irish Guards and the Royal Irish Regiment, alongside the pipes and drums of the Royal Dragoon Guards and the Queen’s Royal Hussars.
There was also a special performance from a choir of Fijian soldiers who serve in Irish regiments.
A limited number of free tickets for the event, which was held in conjunction with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, sold out and those fortunate to be in attendance were treated to a spectacular programme which concluded with a fireworks display. The concert was also live streamed for residents to view from home.
The Mayor, Councillor William McCaughey, said: “The Irish regiments of the British army have a long and distinguished record of service and it is fitting on this centenary year the bands of those regiments were in Carrickfergus to perform on this special occasion.
“Last night saw a magnificent programme of music from each of the bands culminate in a finale that saw all four bands mass on the parade ground to showcase their musical skill and military precision. It was an honour for our borough to have been chosen to showcase this extravaganza not seen for over 35 years on our shores.
“I commend all the organisers for what was an event that will last long in the memory. I would encourage anybody who missed Saturday night’s display to keep an eye on council’s social media, where footage will be posted over the coming weeks.”
The Royal Dragoon Guards posted on social media: “What a week! We take our hat off to all our hard working bandsmen and women who dazzled in the Massed Bands of the Irish Regiments spectacular last night at Carrickfergus Castle.
“Thank you to all of the kind, hard working individuals that we met across Northern Ireland this week. It’s has truly been spectacular and we have enjoyed sharing our history and culture with you. We will definitely be back soon!”
The Royal Irish Regiment tweeted: “A truly memorable evening of military music by the four Irish regiments.”
Click here to read: Carrick Castle setting for historic concert by military musicians
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