The IMBA competition scheduled for Clonmel on the 21st August has been moved to the Downs GAA Club Mullingar. This decision follows the Clonmel BlueHawks' decision to withdraw from all competition in 2016.

Clonmel BlueHawks secretary Maurice O’Sullivan stated "Because of the large admission of junior members to the band this year, our resources are limited. The committee feel that the best long term interest of the organisation will be served training the new members and planning towards the future." The band has committed to performing their show 'West Side Story' in the future.

Over the past two weeks the IMBA have been working towards securing a suitable alternative. Mullingar Town Band's marching unit, the Celtic Crusaders, have saved the date and will now host the competition in an excellent venue. Mullingar Town Band Director Kim Magee: "We have not held an IMBA competition in five years due to travel and other banding commitments. We are hosting at The Downs GAA club grounds. The club have completed construction of a fantastic viewing stand, so we are really looking forward to bringing IMBA back to Mullingar in August."

The Clonmel show has always been a very successful show on the IMBA calendar and the association is sorry to see this cancelled. The IMBA will also miss not having Clonmel BlueHawks present at this year's shows. "We wish them the best of luck in their rebuilding program and look forward to their return in 2017."

The Irish Season kicks off on 16th July in Arklow, Co.Wicklow with other shows on 21st August (Mullingar) and 10th September (Dublin).