You can’t beat Banagher!

THE winners of the 2011 Offaly Stars in Our Bars final held in Hugh Lynch’s, Tullamore last Thursday were Banagher Band Macey South representing Corrigan’s pub.

THE winners of the 2011 Offaly Stars in Our Bars final held in Hugh Lynch’s, Tullamore last Thursday were Banagher Band Macey South representing Corrigan’s pub.

There was a strong southern contingent on the night with the Juggernauts from the Chestnut bar in Birr coming second and Rock Junction representing Joe Lee’s in Tullamore came third.

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There were seven groups in the final from all over the county, all with very vocal fans.

The Smithwicks Stars in Our Bars competition is run by the Vintners Federation of Ireland in over 300 pubs from 25 counties. There have been almost 8,000 entries for the competition in total which has attracted huge interest and support. Not surprising given that there is a prize fund of €50,000.

Last week’s Offaly winners received prizes of: 1st place €1,000; 2nd place €500; 3rd place €250. The three acts now go through to the Regio nal Final (for five counties Laois, Offaly, Kildare, Carlow and Wicklow) on Friday June 10 at the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge. First and second placed in the Regional Final will go through to the All-Ireland Final at the Heritage Hotel Portlaoise on June 17.

The judges at the Offaly final of Stars in Our Bars were local music impressario Colin Hughes, DJ Kev and the Chairperson was musician and performer Maria Mason who is a regular RTE Late Late Show Musician and is currently working with singer/songwriter Declan O’Rourke and X Factor Star Mary Byrne.