Saturday 19 August 2017

#ProudToBeIrish - RTE's Centenary show proves an overwhelming hit with 'emotional' viewers

Picture: RTE Press
Picture: RTE Press
Picture: RTE Press
Picture: RTE Press
Picture: RTE Press Newsdesk Newsdesk

Some of Ireland’s top performers starred in a concert tonight to mark the end of RTÉ’s programme of events over the Easter weekend.

Broadcast live from Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on RTÉ One the show told the story of modern Ireland through music, dance and song.

'Centenary' featured well known names such as Imelda May, Jack L, Gavin James, The High Kings, Colm Wilkinson, Danny O’Reilly, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Sharon Shannon, Dónal Lunny, John Sheahan, Celine Byrne, and Seo Linn.

The chilling and beautiful reading of the Proclamation by Irish people around the world struck a chord with many viewers, who turned to Twitter to voice their appreciation for the one-off show.


Ahead of the show Imelda revealed that her own grandparents were part of the Rising.

“I'm honoured to be a part of this the centenary of the 1916 Rising. To commemorate the sacrifice those brave martyrs made for us is very important to me and my family.”

She continued: “To commemorate it with music, art and poetry across our country is very fitting considering that the Rising was led, not by traditional soldiers, but by poets and artists fighting with passion and pride.”

Other performances tonight included Jack L’s rendition of The Minstrel Boy while Gavin James performed one of the evocative songs of the Rising The Foggy Dew.

Newcomer Sibéal Ní Chasaide performed a haunting rendition of Mise Eire - a new arrangement of Pádraig Pearse's poem by renowned composer Patrick Cassidy.

Soprano Celine Byrne sang You Raise Me Up accompanied by 21 choirs, Colm Wilkinson performed One and Seo Linn closed the event with a rousing performance of Music Makers.

The next generation of the Black family also take centre stage with Mary Black’s son and Coronas frontman Danny O’Reilly performing Grace with his sister Róisín O and cousin Aoife Scott.

President Michael D Higgins also attended the event and addressed the audience with a poignant Gaeilge-English tribute to the Irish rebels who died in the 1916 Easter Rising.

Managing Director for RTÉ Television Glen Killane said: "Arts and culture are at the very heart of the Irish identity so it's fitting that Centenary is the culmination of RTÉ 1916, to reflect on the Rising itself and the nation we have become. RTÉ is very proud to present Centenary, telling our nation's story through music, poetry, dance and song in collaboration with some of Ireland's best creative talents".

Picture: RTE Press
Picture: RTE Press

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