Warm welcome for Michael D Higgin and the Gradam Ceoil

4 Feb 2018 - Irish President Michael D Higgins meeting Richard Parkes, pipe major with the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, at the Waterfront Hall last night during a pre-concert reception before the Traditional Music Awards evening. Picture by Cliff Donaldson.

There was a warm welcome at Belfast's Waterfront Hall last night as President Michael D Higgins arrived to cheers from a sell out crowd for the prestigious Gradam Ceoil.

The Uachtarán welcomed the fact that the ceoil had came North for the first time in its 21-year history, he also presented the main award of the night to Irish music legend Frankie Gavan.

The live concert and award ceremony featured the crème de la crème of Irish music and song.

This year's show featured award winner Frankie Gavin and De Danann, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band, Clare Friel and The Friel Sisters, Máire Ní Chéileachair, Colin Dunne, Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin and Patsy Hanly.

Earlier in the day the Field Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band played on the steps of Stormont as part of a day of traditional music across the city to welcome the Gradam Ceoil to Belfast.

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