Grammy Award-winning composer Bill Whelan is to be presented with the prestigious Industry Award at the 2006 Meteor Ireland Music Awards.

Perhaps best known as the composer of 'Riverdance', Whelan's work with Irish traditional music and musicians spans 26 years.

In 1980 he was a member of the legendary Planxty, going on to produce records for many folk artists including Andy Irvine, Stockton's Wing and Davy Spillane. 

His production and arranging credits also include U2, Van Morrison, Kate Bush, Richard Harris and The Dubliners.

In 1989 he was appointed composer to the WB Yeats International Theatre Festival at Dublin's Abbey Theatre and, since then, he has written original music for 15 Yeats plays.

Originally composed for the interval act of the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest.  'Riverdance' was an orchestral piece conceived for hard-shoe Irish dance. 

Whelan received a Best Musical Show Album Grammy Award in 1997 for his recording of 'Riverdance'.

His own compositional work in film includes 'Lamb' starring Liam Neeson, Sean O'Mordha's historical documentary series 'The Seven Ages', the Terry George/Jim Sheridan film 'Some Mother's Son' and the score for the film version of 'Dancing At Lughnasa' starring Meryl Streep. 

Whelan is currently writing a new stage musical.

He will be presented with the Industry Award at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards Show on Thursday 2 February.