Bands of four Irish-linked regiments play in NI for first time in four decades – ‘dazzling’ display is promised

Carrickfergus is set to host the massed bands of the army’s four Irish regiments, who will perform together in Northern Ireland for the first time in 35 years.

Beret of the RIR
Beret of the RIR

The evening will feature displays from the bands of the Irish Guards, the Royal Irish Regiment, alongside the pipes and drums of the Royal Dragoon Guards (which has strong links to NI via the old Inniskilling Dragoon Guards) and the Queen’s Royal Hussars (formally known as The Queen’s Own and Royal Irish).

There will also be a performance from a choir of Fijian soldiers who serve in Irish regiments.

The event is being organised in conjunction with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and will take place on September 11 at 7pm.

The council said a small number of tickets will be made available closer to the event – however, it will be live streamed across Council’s online platforms.

Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, Lt Col Simon Baxter, said: “On behalf of the Colonels of the Irish Regiments we are delighted to be collaborating with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to deliver a spectacular event of The Massed Bands of the Irish Regiments.

“This will be a truly magnificent and dazzling event involving a number of musical displays from across the four Irish Regiments, the first of its kind in four decades.

“We are privileged and honoured to be able to showcase our musical talents to the people of Northern Ireland.”

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, councillor William McCaughey, said in a statement: “The Irish regiments of the Army have a long and distinguished record of service and it is fitting that the bands of those regiments are gathering in Carrickfergus, a town steeped in military history, to perform on this special occasion.

“There are many historic military and Royal links in this area and right across Mid and East Antrim which have added to the rich tapestry of our Borough’s history.

“We have maintained a proud and strong military tradition with generations of families from the Borough having served over the years.

“We are honoured to welcome such talented musicians from our Armed Forces here for such a special way to celebrate what they do, and to remember those who have served in the past.

“The stunning backdrop of Carrickfergus Castle is the perfect setting for what will no doubt be a perfect celebration and tribute to our Armed Forces.”

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