The 2010 European Pipe Band Championships were held at Stormont on Saturday and it was a marvellous occasion, with around 120 bands and a crowd of more than 10,000 spectators . The event was organised by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (NI Branch) and Belfast City Council.
Local bands were joined by bands from Scotland, England and the Irish Republic as well as some bands from Australia and America. St Laurence O'Toole Pipe Band from Dublin won the Grade One competition by one point from our own Field Marshal Montgomery but Ulster bands claimed four European titles from the six senior grades.
The celebration of piping continues throughout the week with Pipe Up! Belfast and culminates with a special concert in the Belfast Waterfront on Friday night by the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Canada and six times World Champions Field Marshal Montgomery. That event is already booked out.
RSPBA President George Ussher was delighted with the success of the day and at the finale he told the crowd that some years ago I had suggested that Belfast bid for the Europeans. That was the start of a journey that came to fruition on Saturday. Congratulations to all concerned and the championships will return to Stormont in 2011 and 2012.