Jonesborough bands march to historic double victory

August 28, 2012

The St. Brigid’s Accordion Band, Jonesborough created its own piece of musical history last weekend when both Junior and Senior divisions of the band marched off with their respective All -Ireland titles in this year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann.

It is the first time that both junior and senior sections of the one band have achieved separate All-Ireland titles on the same day and has firmly established this talented outfit as the best in the country.

This success did not come about by chance but is the culmination of months of hard work, practice and rehearsals for the band members and hard working committee.

Crowds of spectators had travelled from all over Ireland to lend their support to the many competing bands. Indeed the biggest cheers were reserved for St. Brigid’s Junior band who were the last to perform and despite near monsoon conditions the young band played on to tumultuous applause to grab the coveted first place in their section. This All-Ireland success is a tremendous achievement for this young band, with many of its members competing in a Fleadh for the first time, and is testament to many long hours of practice.

Meanwhile, the senior band returned to its winning ways achieving its fourth All-Ireland Fleadh win in the last six years following an outstanding performance in the arena.

Both jubilant bands participated in the colourful parade through the streets of Cavan after the competition.

At the post-Fleadh celebrations back in Dromintee Football Club, band music tutor Ciarán Murphy praised the band members for their hard work and commitment to the band. He commended the hard work and dedication of all tutors involved, Tommy Martin, Siobhan Rice and Gerry McKevitt.  Ciarán also acknowledged the dedication of parents in bringing their children to practice as well as the Band’s Committee for all the behind the scenes activity that is involved in the running of two successful bands.

“Thanks to all past and present members, families and friends of St. Brigid’s Accordion Band for trusting and believing that perseverance did prevail. Always believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities because without a humble but reasonable confidence in our own powers we cannot be successful or happy,” he said.

Drum Major Siobhan Rice added:  “This has been twenty years in the building of St. Brigid’s Accordion Band. Thanks to the many members that have adorned the St. Brigid’s uniform and believing that hard work and commitment will always prevail, thank God.”

St. Brigid’s believe champions do not become champions when they win the event, but in the hours, weeks, months and years they spend preparing for it. The victorious performance itself is merely the demonstration of their championship character.

Local councillor Anthony Flynn has praised the band’s achievements and called on Newry and Mourne Council to send an official letter of congratulations.

“I commend everyone involved with the band. Success like this doesn’t just happen so I can appreciate the hard work that goes into it. For that reason I feel the band should be acknowledged by our Council,” he said.

The next outing for the combined band is at the Motor Neurone charity event which will be held on Sunday 9th September at Dromintee Football Club. This is followed by their annual participation on 16th September in the Gerry Whelan Memorial Parade in Cootehill.