IRELAND's largest ever gathering of Christmas carol singers missed out on a Guinness World Record despite more than 11,000 singers bearing the cold weather as Croke Park was transformed into a winter wonderland.
The 'Stars, Choirs and Carols' event -- organised by businessman Richard Mulcahy in aid of charities the Sanctuary and Cliona's Foundation -- had sold more than 14,000 tickets but fell short of the record for the largest ever Christmas choir by around 4,000 carollers.
Familiar acts on the night joining the 500 choirs that took part included some of the country's most celebrated musical performers and groups with the Celtic Tenors, Lisa Hannigan, Celine Byrne, the Dublin Gospel Choir and the Army No 1 band.
Pop mogul Louis Walsh was also in Croke Park to lend his support for the world record bid.
The idea for the event was hatched following Mr Mulcahy's appearance on the RTE show 'Secret Millionaire' when he posed as a volunteer and was moved by the work of Cliona's Foundation, which offers financial support to families of severely ill children. Another star performer on the night was Sarah Crowe -- accompanied on stage by her dad Dave -- who suffers from a rare disorder and benefits form the work of Cliona's Foundation. "This is great for the two charities because it raises their profile," Richard told the Irish Independent at the event last night.
"For the likes of Sarah, she has a rare disease which severely shortens her life expectancy and one effect also is that she falls down and cuts herself.
"Cliona's Foundation have funded new mats for Sarah to stop her from getting cut when she falls. It's all about cases like Sarah's."
The record, of 15,694, had only just been broken in the days before the event.