THE 40th South of Ireland Band Championships in Clonakilty and the Old Time Fair have both been deemed a resounding success.
From early morning until nightfall last Saturday week, the visiting bands competed at the Community Hall and Sacred Heart Secondary School, giving impromptu recitals at numerous outdoor venues. In the evening, the Community Hall was packed to capacity for the prizegiving ceremony at which two newly-elected mayors, both natives of the town, were special guests.
Cork county mayor Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan and town mayor Michael O’ Neill acknowledged the wonderful contribution the annual bands competition has made to the cultural and entertainment life of the town. It was also a time for nostalgia, with family members of founders Brawny Wycherley and Jack O’Mahony in attendance to present memorial cups to the winners.
Jack’s son Donal, home from the USA, and Jacqueline from the UK. presented the Jack O’Mahony Cup for Best Junior Musicianship. Raymond Wycherley awarded the Carol Wycherley Memorial Cup to the senior category winners. The commemorative programme provided a miscellany of memories down the years and will be a valuable record in years to come.
Among the winners were: First: (junior category) St Mary’s Brass and Reed Youth Band, Kingscourt; First: (intermediate category) St Mary’s Brass and Reed Youth Band Kingscourt; First: (senior category): Lourdes Brass Band. The Maurice Memorial Perpetual Cup for the Spirit of the Festival award went to Raymond Blackwell.