TG4 will honour the President of Ireland, Michael D.Higgins on his 80th birthday with a mix of music, poetry and dancing.
Mayo harpist Laoise Kelly features among a stellar line-up of guests that also includes legendary singer Van Morrison, musical duo Iarla Ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney, and Tullamore-raised singer Tolü Makay, to name a few.
Westport native Laoise Kelly, a resident of Achill Island, is the current TG4 Gradam Ceoil Musician of the Year.
TG4 have also said that “Sparks fly when former De Dannan stablemates Frankie Gavin and Mairtín O’Connor team up in Galway Town Hall Theatre to tear asunder some sparkling reels and invoke the sound of the city of the tribes!
Other acts include four-time All-Ireland champion melodeon player Emma Corbett who collaborates with one of Ireland’s most electric dancers Sibéal Davitt, for a specially commissioned performance of Sean nós dance fused with passion and movement of the very highest calibre.
The next generation of Irish talent is represented by two of the finest singers on this island, Sibéal Ní Chasaide and Séamus Ó Flatharta, who come together for a vocal duet from the Claddagh in Galway on ‘Óró mo Bhaidín.’
Paddy Keenan of Bothy Band fame joins with Gradam Ceoil TG4 Singer of the Year 2019 Thomas McCarthy will perform a spine-tingling rendition of ‘Donal Kenny’ in what is a display of the very finest of Irish traditional song and Uilleann Piping.
The show will also feature a selection of A-list commentators such as former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, Director General of TG4 Alan Esslemont, Druid Theatre director Garry Hynes, playwright and director Darach Mac Con Iomaire and former Vice-President at NUI, Galway Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh.
TG4 say the programme will reflect President Michael D. Higgins’ love of music, dance, poetry, language, song, theatre and protest and his support for the marginalised in society. It will also reflect his support of the values of active citizenship and a caring community, his deep commitment to equality and to human rights, civil rights, LGBT+ rights, Traveller’s rights, language rights and his part of the struggle for gender equality from the 1970s to today.
The programme will be broadcast on President Higgins’ birthday, April 18 at 9:30pm.