Northern Ireland

Nelson McCausland praises Northern Ireland pipe bands

Pipe bands
Image caption Thousands of musicians played at the World Pipe Band Championships

Culture Minister Nelson McCausland has paid tribute to the success of pipe bands from Northern Ireland.

More than 50,000 people watched the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow on Saturday.

Mr McCausland said Northern Ireland bands "have out-performed every other country in the world by winning six out of 16 world titles and producing 30 out of 66 prize winners".

Dublin band St Laurence O'Toole were crowned world pipe band champions.

Field Marshal Montgomery from Lisburn in County Antrim came second in the Grade One category while Scotland's Boghall and Bathgate pipe band from West Lothian claimed third spot.

Mr McCausland said Field Marshal Montgomery's "high degree of success is a reflection of the enthusiastic support for piping around Northern Ireland".

He added: "Pipe Bands continue to be an important part of culture in Northern Ireland, with thousands of people learning and making pipe band music across the country."

About 8,000 pipers and drummers from 16 countries competed for more than nine hours, culminating in a march past.

The event, which has been held in Glasgow for more than 60 years, attracted a total of 240 bands and also featured Highland dancing and Glasgow's Highland Games.

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