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Local musicians who helped Ireland win UN seat

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The young musicians from Dundalk who performed in New York

The young musicians from Dundalk who performed in New York

The young musicians from Dundalk who performed in New York

While Bono has been hailed as Ireland's secret weapon in the country securing a seat on the UN security council last week, local musicians can also take credit in helping in Ireland's successful bid to win the seat.

Five talented young traditional Irish musicians from the north-east travelled to New York to represent Music Generation and perform at an event at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York City in February. Musicians Kerrianne McArdle (flute); Evelyn McCaul (harp); Saoirse McGahern (bodhrán); Iarla McMahon (Uilleann pipes); and Kim Poole (fiddle) came together through their membership of 'Nós Nua - Louth Youth Folk Orchestra', a collaborative initiative between Music Generation Louthand Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireannin I

After a full day rehearsing with the Pihcintu Chorus and the UN Choir before performing to an audience which included the former President of Ireland Mary Robinson (Chair of The Elders), António Guterres (UN Secretary General) and U2's Bono (co-founder of the ONE Campaign) all of whom would also be taking part in the event. The event itself, the Irish Government's launch of 'Drive For Five', a global call to action for the education of adolescent girls, was one of many events organised by the Irish Government in a bid to win a term on the UN Security Council,

Upon hearing of the success of the bid, Rosaleen Molloy, National Director of Music Generation said: 'We are so proud ofKerrianne, Evelyn, Saoirse, Iarla and Kim. As young musicians they represented Ireland on such a prestigious global platform and played a really important part in this historic achievement for our country. Their involvement is a brilliant example of how young people, through the power of music-making, can make a real difference in the world.'

Kay Webster Reachtaire, at the Oriel Centre, Dundalk Gaol, was also delighted at the news.'I would like to congratulate the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on their fantastic success in winning a seat at the UN Security Council for Ireland 2021-22. Comhaltas NE is proud to have been associated with Ireland's success through its talented performers in partnership with Music Generation. 'Ní neart go chur le chéile'.

One of the team from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who led Ireland's bid, was Aoife Erraught, from Ravensdale sister of opera star Tara, and no mean singer herself. The Irish Times reported this week that 'an Irish official' sang to a group of overseas guests as political leaders from small island states visited Co Cork for a conference on the ocean and climate change. Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney described that informal meeting of island nations as 'a pivotal moment' in Ireland's bid to take the two-year seat on the influential UN body. And Tara revealed in a tweet that the 'Irish official' was her younger sister.

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