Céilí Band hit the áras

ST PATRICK'S Day was a momentous occasion for members of the Shannon Vale Céilí Band, who were musical guests at a reception hosted by President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina at Áras an Uachtaráin.

The 2011 All Ireland Senior Céilí band winners took up the highly prestigious invitation to entertain the president and his wife and an invited audience who were being honoured for their efforts in the recent flood and storm relief efforts.

The Shannon Vale Céilí Band, along with champion dancers Tomás Ó Sé and Niamh O'Brien, entertained the enthusiastic audience with music, song and dance some of which features on their forthcoming debut album which, incidentally, is being launched in Listowel on June 7.

Following the proceedings, band leader Danny O'Mahony made a presentation to both President Higgins and his wife Sabina which included a specially crafted slate piece by Lisselton designer Liz Browne and a collection of The Great Book of Kerry, first edition by Seán Quinlan.

President Higgins spoke of his great delight at the bands' presence on such an auspicious day.

Following on from this great honour the Shannon Vale Céilí band are now focusing on the impending launch of their debut CD "Shannon's Lovely Vale" with a busy schedule of dates across the country.

Band members include Sheila Garrey and Colm Kissane on fiddles, Marianne Brown and Joe Sullivan on flutes, John Collins on drums, Mike Collins on banjo, Patsy Broderick on piano, and band leader Danny O'Mahony features on button accordion.