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Royal Albert Hall hosts very special Irish night

1 of 1 Imelda May - Taking part in Ceiliúradh (Celebration) at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday April 10
Imelda May - Taking part in Ceiliúradh (Celebration) at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday April 10

Paul Brady, Glen Hansard, Imelda May, Dermot O'Leary, Olivia O'Leary and Joseph O'Connor are among those taking part in Ceiliúradh (Celebration) at the Royal Albert Hall to mark President Higgins and his wife Sabina's State visit to the UK.

President and Mrs Higgins will be guests of honour at the evening of music, spoken word and dance on Thursday April 10, which will be broadcast live on the RTÉ Player and on RTÉ Radio 1 and screened on RTÉ Television later that evening.

Also taking part will be Lisa Hannigan, The Gloaming, Villagers' Conor O'Brien, Eimear Quinn and actress Fiona Shaw, with surprise guests promised on the night.

The house band will include acclaimed musicians Liam Bradley, John Carty, Anthony Drennan, Graham Henderson, Dónal Lunny, Mike McGoldrick, Paul Moore, Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Máirtín O'Connor and Brendan Power.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan said: "This is an important concert which will allow Irish creativity, performance and talent to shine as part of this historic visit."

The Minister continued: "Promoted by the Culture Ireland division of my Department, the concert will be a unique and intimate evening of shared stories, music, song and dance.

"Importantly, this occasion offers us the opportunity to recognise and celebrate our exceptional and long-standing cultural connections with Britain."

He added: "I hope it will encourage, deepen and strengthen these relationships, which benefit us both, into the future.

"I am delighted that this unique concert will be live streamed by RTÉ. The Diaspora, and those who love Irish culture throughout the world, can enjoy the evening. In Ireland, people will be able to listen live on RTÉ Radio 1 or view the concert later that evening when broadcast on TV."

The Royal Albert Hall's Chief Executive, Chris Cotton, said: "It is an enormous honour to welcome the President of Ireland to the Hall for this special event on the occasion of his first State visit to the United Kingdom. I would encourage everyone to join in and become a part of this historic celebration of our shared culture."

Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Irish Youth Foundation (UK).

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