Carrickfergus Castle Hosts Massed Irish Bands
Photos by Patrick Hugh Lynch
First posted 9 September
For the first time in 35 years the massed bands of the four Irish regiments of the British Army joined together on Saturday last to perform at Carrickfergus Castle, Co. Antrim. The beautiful ancient Norman Castle on the northern shore of Belfast Lough provided the backdrop to the Irish Guards and The The Royal Irish Regiment, alongside the pipes and drums of The Royal Dragoon Guards and The Queen’s Royal Hussars. There was also a special performance from a choir of Fijian soldiers who serve in the Irish regiments. Belfast Lough was filled with the sound of military music and marches such as Killaloe and St. Patrick’s Day.
The oldest of the Irish regiments is the Irish Guards, fondly called ‘The Micks’; one of the Foot Guards regiments part of the Guards Division. It were formed on 1 April 1900 by order of Queen Victoria to commemorate the Irishmen who fought in the Second Boer War for the British Empire. The Royal Irish Regiment was formed in 1992 through the amalgamation of the Royal Irish Rangers and the Ulster Defence Regiment. The regiment has a lineage to the 27th Regiment of Foot, which was first raised in June 1689 to fight in the Williamite War in Ireland; the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Royal Irish Rifles and the Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s). The Royal Dragoon Guards was formed in 1992 by the amalgamation of the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. The Queen’s Royal Hussars was formed in 1993 from the amalgamation of the Queen’s Own Hussars and the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars.
The Massed Bands start playing from 1.09.30 into the video you can watch by clicking on the link below.
This project is supported by The Dept. of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Northern Ireland Veterans’ Commissioner’s Office. A special thank you to the Royal Irish Regiment and the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.