Wednesday 18 October 2017

Star-studded event to showcase local talent

Gary Dunne, director arts at the London Irish Centre
Gary Dunne, director arts at the London Irish Centre
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins will attend a star-studded event in the Royal Albert Hall tonight, and there is an Irish man at the helm of it all.

Gary Dunne, who originally hails from Portlaoise, has been living in London for almost 11 years and he works as the director of arts at the London Irish centre.

He has been tasked with organising a special segment of the 'Ceiliuradh' concert for President Higgins and his wife Sabina.

Among the well-known Irish talent taking to the stage tonight is Dublin singer Imelda May and music legend Paul Brady.

"We felt it was really important that as well as having the high-profile Irish celebrities performing that we would also have a choir from the Irish community in London," explained Mr Dunne.

"So over the last three weeks we have assembled 71 people ranging from eight to 88 years old.

"It is a really beautiful project."

He believes that this special performance from the Irish community is a special display of "unity" among the Irish emigrants in London.

He said that this week has been a very special week for Irish emigrants in the city, and that there is an "amazing buzz in the community at the moment, in and around the visit".

"I think President Higgins is a great ambassador for Ireland and the Irish language. It's a very moving time for the Irish in Britain," the father-of-one added.

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