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Sunday, October 17, 2021

‘They who pay the piper – calls the tune’ NOT the case for Portrush Competition

The old saying goes, ‘they who pay the piper – calls the tune!’. But this seems not to be the case for this years Portrush Piping competition!

It’s would appear that the governing body, the RSPBANI, will NOT be holding the popular pipe band competition this year at the seaside town.

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A list of the dates posted on social media by the RSPBANI, also stated the following:

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“Unfortunately, we have not been able to secure a competition in Portrush this year. We hope this competition will be back on the calendar as soon as possible.”

This leaves the closest competition to Portrush, held on August 8th, the Ulster Championships in Ballymena.

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The competitions future had already been the topic of controversy, as it had been one of a number of events earmarked for funding cuts as part of Causeway Coast & Glens draft cost savings.

Fortunately for the event it was spared and appeared likely that it would go ahead with council funding available and preliminary dates set.

But despite this, the RSPBANI announcement will come as a blow to local pipe bands and their followers, as well as to Portrush who welcomed large crowds to the area.

Local councillor Mark Fielding has called this announcement ‘regrettable’, saying:

“It is regrettable that the annual RSPBANI Annual North West Pipe Band Championship is not returning to Portrush for August 2020 and while some may speculate why this is happening, it is not due to the recent efficiency savings and cuts from the Council.

“I have often heard it said The event is regarded by town centre traders in Portrush as their best day of the year; and It is a big loss this year for Portrush but let’s hope the absence is temporary and that every effort is made to ensure the competition returns again on an annual basis in 2021.

The exact circumstances are not known at this time, but it’s believed to involve a paperwork issue, required by the RSPBANI.

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