Tuesday 21 October 2014

Niall Horan leads the Irish talent in Albert Hall for Presidential gala...in royal box

BY NIALL O'CONNOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

Published 11/04/2014 | 07:38

News 10042014. No repro Fee.
Pictured is President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and his Wife Sabina with Prince and Princess Michael of Kent being welcomed at a Celebration of British and Irish Culture Concert in the Royal Albert Hall in London on  the third official day of the Presidents 5 day State Visit to the United Kingdom. Photo Chris Bellew / Copyright Fennell Photography 2014.
President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and his Wife Sabina with Prince and Princess Michael of Kent being welcomed at a Celebration of British and Irish Culture Concert in the Royal Albert Hall in London

Ireland's first couple met Mullinger's number one music star at a gala event celebrating Irish music and culture in London's Royal Albert Hall.

One Direction's Niall Horan was among those invited to the special concert, or Ceiliuradh, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II on the penultimate day of Michael D Higgin's momentous State visit.

Boyband star Horan was seated directly behind Mr Higgins in the Royal box for the event hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip.

Mr Higgins was in jubilant form as he and guests were entertained by Irish musicians such as Imelda May, Glen Hansard and Paul Brady.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness were also present.

The president dedicated the celebration to the thousands of Irish emigrants in Britain.

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"This celebration, above all, is for the thousands of Irish people in this Hall who have made Britain their home or whose parents or grandparents did, as well as the friends, neighbours, relatives and in-laws, they have brought along," he said.

"I thank you most sincerely for the fidelity you have shown to Ireland over many years; for the contribution you have made to the development of Britain; and for your part in the consolidation of an enduring friendship between our two countries. You remain a cherished member of the Irish family," he added.

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5,000 people packed into the iconic Royal Albert Hall to watch the President's address, as well to enjoy the famous acts on display.

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Earlier, Aras an Uachtarain released details of the official gifts presented by the President to members of the Royal family.

Despite being in New Zealand with his parents Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, young Prince George was also the recipient of a gift from Mr and Mrs Higgins -- a copy of the Oscar Wilde classic children's story The Happy Prince'.

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Meanwhile, social  media users shared snaps and videos from the event.

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