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Royal Irish Regiment Band concert held in aid of soldiers’ charity




Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams was delighted to welcome more than 220 guests to the Braid in Ballymena for the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) - the Soldiers’ Charity - concert.


This was a very special concert by the Royal Irish Regiment Band as it was organised to celebrate the tremendous achievement of Her Majesty the Queen in this Platinum Jubilee year.



The ABF is the Army’s national charity, providing lifelong support for active and former soldiers and their families.


Soloist Clara Wilson performing with Band, Bugles, Pipes & Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment.

Their vision is that all serving soldiers, veterans and their immediate families should have the opportunity to avoid hardship and enjoy independence and dignity.


In 2020-2021, ABF Soldiers’ Charity expended £8.3million to more than 60,000 members of the Army family.



Alderman, Noel Williams said:


“Council is incredibly proud, not only of its rich military heritage, but also the part it plays in supporting our veterans and the families of those who have paid the ultimate price.


“It’s been a long two years since Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and ABF were able to unite for a concert due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so I was delighted to welcome everyone to the Braid to celebrate the beautiful music, and each other’s company, that we all appreciate now more than ever.”



Throughout June Council has delivered an action-packed programme of events to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The aim of all of these celebrations was to celebrate the leadership and dedication shown by Her Majesty throughout her unparalleled 70 years as monarch.



The Mayor continued:


“We too must aspire to such dedication as Her Majesty, and one such way is through the incomparable importance of supporting our Armed Forces.

“The Army’s national charity, the ABF, is at the forefront of such support, aiming to respond within 48 hours of hearing of a person or family in need, the charity supported over 60,000 people in 63 countries last year – all of whom were soldiers past or present, or their families.



“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is proud to help the ABF charity through evenings and events such as this in showcasing the Royal Irish Regiment Band.”


David Forsey Regional Director (Northern Ireland) of ABF The Soldiers' Charity introduces the The Royal Irish Regiment band.

David Forsey, NI Director of the ABF said:


"What a fantastic night we had at the Braid. The audience was very enthusiastic, the music sublime and everyone was very generous to our charity. 


"My thanks go to Mayor Noel Williams for his help and support."



RIR Bandmaster Warrant Officer Class 1 Richard Douglas MBE VR presents Mid&East Antrim Mayor Alderman Noel WIlliams with a gift before the Royal Irish Regiment Platinum Jubilee Concert. Included is Deputy Lord Lieutenant Colonel Samuel McCammond, UD, VR, DL.

Rory Watts, Valerie Watts, Mid&East Antrim Mayor Alderman Noel WIlliams , Elizabeth Carson and Alderman John Carson, Veterans' Champion Mid&East Antrim.

Councillor Keith Turner, Paula Turner, and Hubert Ewing, Raymond McNeill and Wesley Cumming odf Ballymena UDR Association.

Frank and Claire Shivers, Mohammed and Fazianah Moolkea.

ABF Volunteer collector Brian Hyndman, Stewart McWilliams and Tom McWilliams.