Hands Across the Water: 1913 -2013

Drogheda will resound again to the wonderful music of Côr Meibion Onllwyn – the Onllwyn Miners’ Male Voice Choir - on Friday next, 11th October when the South Wales choir will perform in the Augustinian Church, Shop Street at 8 p.m.

Their first visit to Drogheda two years ago was a spectacular success and established many lasting links between the two communities. The event will be another link in the chain that has now been growing for exactly100 years.

In 1913 the South Wales Miners Federation sent £1,000 a week for fourteen weeks to support starving Dublin families during the 1913 Lock Out. This was an enormous sum of money in 1913. An attempt was made in 1984 to repay this historic debt when Irish trade unionists campaigned in solidarity against the ferocious attack by the British Government on the mining industry and mining communities.

In saying thank you for this solidarity the South Wales mining community first sent the choir to Ireland in 1986. All proceeds from the performances have gone to charity and as a result, many Irish charitable organisations have benefited greatly by such fundraising. The Côr Meibion Onllwyn has an international reputation having appeared at “The Thousand Voices” in the Albert Hall in London and has given recitals in the United States, the Bahamas and Italy. The choir were special guests at the Paul Robeson Centenary Concert in the Albert Hall.

Anyone who experienced the magic of the choir’s performances on its last visit to Drogheda will recall the superb musicianship and wonderful camaraderie of the visitors, whether at the impromptu recital on the steps of The Tholsel, at the more formal setting of the Augustinian Church or at the after concert wind down in local pubs. The concert on Friday, “Hands Across the Water”, will celebrate the century of friendship and solidarity between the people of South Wales and Ireland by highlighting the tremendous quality of music to be found among both.

The first half of the concert will feature original compositions from locally based composer, Michael Holohan. The hugely talented Drogheda Orchestral Collective will perform as well as internationally renowned flute player, Brian Dunning. The well known actor, Donal O'Kelly will read from the writings of James Larkin and there may be additional top class surprise guests. The choir will respond in the second half with a varied programme of singing of the highest quality. Truly, a treat is in store!

Proceeds from the Drogheda concert will go to Drogheda Cultural Services Group, which is made up of Drogheda Museum Millmount, Drogheda on the Boyne Tourism, Highlanes Gallery and Drogheda Local Voices Oral History Archive. Tickets for the concert, which starts at 8pm on Friday October 11th, cost €10 and can be had from the Augustinian Church, Drogheda Tourist Office or from Drogheda Museum Millmount.

  • Drogheda Museum Millmount - Governor's House - Millmount - Drogheda - 0419833097

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