Business

Young choristers will add wow factor to Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards

The talented choir from St Patrick's PS Drumgreenagh, who took part in the live semi-final of Britain's Got Talent and who will open the Irish NEws Workplace & Employment Awards next Thursday

FROM wowing Simon Cowell and millions of ITV viewers on live television, to opening Northern Ireland's biggest business dinner from the famous staircase of Titanic Belfast . . . .

That's all in a week's work for the talented junior choir from St Patrick's Primary School, based in the hamlet of Drumgreenagh, outside Rathfriland.

The award-winning 39-strong choir will make their first public appearance back in Northern Ireland since their memorable Britain's Got Talent performance when they take to the stage in Belfast next Thursday at the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards.

Under the direction of P4/5 teacher Patricia McCaughey, they will kick-start a star-studded night by the opening the prestigious awards from the Titanic staircase, where they will sing to a 550-strong black tie business audience.

After rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cowell, Ant and Dec, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams - who all took the Co Down youngsters to their hearts - the choir will share a stage this time with awards co-host Patrick Kielty.

"We're delighted to have secured the amazingly talented St Patrick's PS for our big night," Irish News marketing manager John Brolly said.

"It will set the tone for what will be a memorable evening celebrating the outstanding people-talent we have in Northern Ireland."

This year's Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards has continued to break records in terms of entries, the number of new companies engaging in the initiative and the guests attending.

Companies representing sectors from energy to architecture, finance to pharma, and banks to beer, are on the short-list for next week's bash, which will be compered by BBC journalist Jim Fitzpatrick, assisted by top comedian Paddy Kielty.

Now domiciled in LA but who is flying from recording commitments in London to co-host the night, Kielty, in his own irreverent style, is likely to remind guests why they should have voted on Thursday - and just as the polls close our own winners will then unveiled in more than a dozen categories.

Guest speaker is Co Antrim man Brian Higgins, chief executive of suicide and self harm crisis centre Pieta House in Dublin, who will focusing on how businesses and their people must take responsibility for "walking towards the light" in terms of better workplace awareness, support and positivity.

The awards are being supported by eight key business partners in Carson McDowell, Mount Charles, Phoenix Natural Gas, Queen's University, Ulster University, Henderson Group, Armagh City Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council and Titanic Belfast (venue partner).

As in past years, the executive chief at Titanic Belfast has created a sumptuous bespoke menu specifically for the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards.

Guests will start with Rathlin island lobster, crab and langoustine timbale with pink grapefruit, lemon crème fraiche and rye bread croute before moving to a main course of Northern Irish beef ‘two ways’- slow cooked brisket cottage pie with truffle root vegetable, saffron fondant and roast salt aged fillet with grilled spring onion and Belfast ale jus.

Desert will be a unique Titanic trio 'taste of the fair ground' with white chocolate and raspberry popcorn, strawberry candy floss and lemon meringue ice cream slider.

:: The 2017 Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards take place in Titanic Belfast next Thursday. For information visit www.irishnews.com/wea

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