Our media is doing a wall-to-wall job on our President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina’s visit to our nearest neighbours across the water.
We’re watching and reading of how they’re being treated Royally and féted along the streets of Windsor by native English and emigrant Irish alike . They’re there shoulder to shoulder with each waving their respective flags with pride and a new sense of friendship.
On the other hand, we have a local account of how well the President and Mrs. Higgins treat their Áras an Uachtaráin invited guests from a Kerry based band.
Members of the Shannon Vale Céilí Band were musical guests at a reception hosted by President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina at Áras an Uachtaráin on St. Patrick’s Day Monday, March 17th.
The 2011 All Ireland Senior Céilí band winners took up the highly prestigious invite to entertain both the president and his wife and an invited audience who were being honoured for their immense efforts in the recent flood and storm relief efforts.
The gathering heard President Higgins pay great tribute to the efforts of all concerned involved in helping victims of the unprecedented weather.
The Shannon Vale Céilí Band along with champion dancers Tomás Ó Sé and Niamh O’Brien, entertained an enthusiastic and receptive audience with music, song and dance – some of which features on their forthcoming debut album which, incidentally, is being launched in Listowel on June 7th.
Specially Arranged Music
Two specially chosen sets were performed by the North Kerry Band for President Higgins and his wife following the president’s address during which they treated their audience to a showcase of specially arranged music, song and dance.
Following proceedings, band leader Danny O’Mahony made a very special 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.
The band was proudly accompanied on the day by close friends and family members.
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.
The Shannon Vale Céilí 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.
For information on the band go to: www.shannonvaleceiliband.com