Northern Ireland pipe band wins world title


A record crowd saw musicians from Northern Ireland scoop the coveted World Pipe Band Championship title yesterday.

The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band picked up first prize last night as the all-day competition drew to a close on Glasgow Green.

Some 231 bands from around the world took part in front of nearly 45,000 enthusiasts.

A council spokeswoman said the favourable conditions had helped to draw in the crowds.

Chieftain of the championships, Glasgow's Lord Provost Liz Cameron, presented the winners with their prizes.

She said: "The 2004 championships have broken all records today.

"Over 40,000 people, of all ages and from across the globe, enjoyed the skirl of the pipes and the beat of the drums on Glasgow Green.

"It was truly a fantastic day and Glasgow should be proud as hosts of his world event."

Earlier, the sound of the pipes could be heard in the city centre as around 8,000 musicians from as far afield as America, Australia and South Africa tuned their instruments for the main event.

The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Canada ultimately scooped second place, while last year's winners, Scottish band House of Edgar Shotts & Dykehead, came in third.

They beat off competition from a host of homegrown talent, including the Strathclyde Police Pipe Band.

Almost 50 bands from Northern Ireland took part, with France, Germany and Denmark also represented.

The event was organised by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and Glasgow City Council, and has been held in the city since 1986.