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

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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News 10042014. No repro Fee.
Pictured is President Michael D Higgins speaking 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.

News 10042014. No repro Fee. Pictured is President Michael D Higgins speaking 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.

Fennell Photography

News 10042014. No repro Fee. Pictured is President Michael D Higgins speaking 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.

 

"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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News 10042014. No repro Fee.
Pictured are performers from left, Donal Lunny, Steve Nieve, Conor J O'Brien, Evlis Costello, Paul Brady Glen Hansard and Andy Irvine at 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.

News 10042014. No repro Fee. Pictured are performers from left, Donal Lunny, Steve Nieve, Conor J O'Brien, Evlis Costello, Paul Brady Glen Hansard and Andy Irvine at 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.

Fennell Photography

News 10042014. No repro Fee. Pictured are performers from left, Donal Lunny, Steve Nieve, Conor J O'Brien, Evlis Costello, Paul Brady Glen Hansard and Andy Irvine at 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.

 

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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Pictured in Imelda May with her husband Darrel Higham 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.

News 10042014. No repro Fee. Pictured in Imelda May with her husband Darrel Higham 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.

Fennell Photography

News 10042014. No repro Fee. Pictured in Imelda May with her husband Darrel Higham 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.

 

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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10/04/14 STATE VISIT-ROYAL ALBERT HALL
President Michael D Higgins and Mrs Sabina Higgins with Prince and Princess Michael of Kent prior to a Return Reception at Royal Albert Hall on the evening of day 3 of the President's State Visit to the United Kingdom. 
Johnny Bambury/ Fennell Photography

10/04/14 STATE VISIT-ROYAL ALBERT HALL President Michael D Higgins and Mrs Sabina Higgins with Prince and Princess Michael of Kent prior to a Return Reception at Royal Albert Hall on the evening of day 3 of the President's State Visit to the United Kingdom. Johnny Bambury/ Fennell Photography

Johnny Bambury/Fennell Photograp

10/04/14 STATE VISIT-ROYAL ALBERT HALL President Michael D Higgins and Mrs Sabina Higgins with Prince and Princess Michael of Kent prior to a Return Reception at Royal Albert Hall on the evening of day 3 of the President's State Visit to the United Kingdom. Johnny Bambury/ Fennell Photography

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

Online Editors