Ireland

Huge céad míle fáilte at Slane for Harry as popstar turns on the style as Gaeilge

Harry Styles on stage at Slane Castle on Saturday night. (Image courtesy of RTÉ)
Harry Styles on stage at Slane Castle on Saturday night. (Image courtesy of RTÉ) Harry Styles on stage at Slane Castle on Saturday night. (Image courtesy of RTÉ)

HARRY Styles marked the triumphant return of live music to Slane Castle on Saturday, using flourishes of the Irish language and draping himself in the tricolour, to the thrill of the tens of thousands in attendance.

The English pop icon performed for two hours to more than 80,000 at the legendary Irish music venue.

It marked the first major post-pandemic event at the famous venue since Metallica rocked the castle in 2019.

Now a global superstar in his own right, the former One Direction member-took to the stage on Saturday night for the sold-out concert as part of the European leg of his Love on Tour show.

In the summer drizzle, he greeted the thousands on the Slane slope with “céad míle fáilte” (one hundred thousand welcomes) and asked the crowd “conus atá tú?” (how are you).

At least 80,000 people packed into Slane Castle on Saturday for the first time since 2019. Image: Garda Air Support Unit
At least 80,000 people packed into Slane Castle on Saturday for the first time since 2019. Image: Garda Air Support Unit At least 80,000 people packed into Slane Castle on Saturday for the first time since 2019. Image: Garda Air Support Unit

In between performances of his solo hits and songs from the One Direction catalogue, Styles relayed a story about being headbutted in Tallaght with former bandmate Niall Horan in 2010.

"Thanks for all the support over the years apart from the time I got headbutted because I went to Tallaght,” he joked.

"Is anyone in here tonight from Tallaght? I forgive you Tallaght, I forgive you."

Despite the fact that gates didn’t open until 2pm on Saturday, fans had queued from 4.30am for the best views of the gig.

The crowd were treated to support sets from UK indie darlings Wet Leg, Irish pop-rockers Inhaler, Irish DJ Annie MacManus, and a solo set from Styles' guitarist Mitch Rowland, before the main act took to the stage at around 8.30pm.

Styles opened his set with 2022 track ‘Daydreaming’, before delivering rousing performances of hits including ‘As It Was’, ‘Adore You’, ‘Sign of the Times’, ‘Treat People with Kindness’, and One Direction's hit, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’.

As the sun set over the Boyne Valley, the singer closed his set with another flourish as Gaeilge, bidding the crowd ‘Slán leat’ (goodbye), adding “agus go n-eirí an bóthar leat”, often translated poetically in Ireland as ‘may the road rise to meet you’.