Tributes from across the globe to World Champion Drum Major killed in NI crash

Tributes have been paid to a World Champion Drum Major who died in a road crash yesterday aged just 17.

Friday, 25th September 2020, 2:27 pm

The crash happened on the Coolmillish Road near Markethill, Co Armagh. on Thursday afternoon.

The NI Air Ambulance was tasked to the scene but no one was taken to hospital, according to the NI Ambulance Service.

The girl has been named locally as Rachel Lowry, a member of Armaghbreague Pipe Band.

Rachel Lowry (Armaghbreague Pipe Band)
Rachel Lowry (Armaghbreague Pipe Band)

She has won countless awards as a Drum Major in competition across the Province and has been a world champion.

As well as locally, tributes have been paid to Rachel from Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band and Autshumato Anti-Aircraft Regiment Pipes & Drums in South Africa.

Tributes were paid to Rachel on the Pipes and Drums website. They said: “Rachel Lowry, the 2017 Junior World Champion Drum-Major and 2019 runner-up in the World Championship Juvenile grade, died in a single vehicle crash in the Markethill area of Armagh, Northern Ireland, on September 24th.

“Age 17, she was a member of the Armaghbreague Pipe Band of Armagh, and was a fast-rising star in the pipe band world.


“Our sympathies go to Rachel Lowry’s family, the members of Armaghbreague, and her many friends at this sad time.”

Bessbrook Crimson Arrow Pipe Band said: “It is with great sadness to hear of the death of Rachel Lowry yesterday. She had a great talent and was well known throughout the pipe band and drum major world. On behalf of everyone at Bessbrook Crimson Arrow Pipe Band we pass on our sympathies to her entire family circle.”

Whitewater Pipe Band in Newtownhamilton said; “It is with great sadness we hear of yesterday’s tragic death of Rachel Lowry, drum major with Armaghbreague Pipe Band.

“She was well known throughout the Pipe band and Drum Major community. On behalf of everyone at Whitewater Pipe Band we pass on our sympathies to her entire family circle.”


Writing on Facebook, they said: “The Cleland Memorial Pipe Band are very sad to hear of the sudden and heartbreaking passing of Drum Major Rachel Lowry and cannot express our deepest sympathies to her family and all that had the privilege to know Rachel... Rest Easy Rachel.”

And the Irish Pipe Band Photography group said: “My condolences to the family and friends of Drum Major Rachel Lowry, a lovely talented young girl, always smiling and happy at competions. May you rest in peace Rachel.”

Police last night confirmed that the 17 year old died in the single vehicle collision on the Coolmillish Road, Markethill.

A spokesperson said: “The collision involving a blue Ford Fiesta was reported to police shortly before 1pm.

“Officers investigating the collision are appealing for any witnesses or anyone who may have recorded dash-cam footage in the area to please make contact by calling 101, quoting reference 833 24/09/20.”

A spokesperson for the NI Ambulance Service said it received a 999 call 12.56 on Thursday 24 September 2020 following reports of a one vehicle RTC at Coolmillish Road, Markethill.

“NIAS despatched two Emergency crews and one Rapid Response Paramedic to the scene. The charity Air Ambulance with HEMs crew on board was also tasked to the incident.

“Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, no one was taken to hospital.”

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