The newly refurbished Basilica at Knock played host to a Concert for Peace on Saturday 14 May, in commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising and the First World War. Roughly 2,700 gathered for the concert, joined by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and his wife Sabina Higgins.
The concert was opened with a performance of Amhrán na bhFiann by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and sung by the 120-strong Peace Choir comprised of the Ballina Chamber Choir, Cór Mhaigh Eo and the Dún Laoghaire Choral Society.
The RTÉ Concert Orchestra was led by conductor David Brophy and, with the Peace Choir, was joined by Mezzo-Soprano Anne Marie Gibbons, Tenor Owen Gilhooly, and Odhrán Ó Chasaide on uilleann pipes and violin. The first part of the concert was a series of pieces composed by Patrick Cassidy, who attended on the night and received a standing ovation. Pieces included Vide Cor Meum, A Supplication and Mise Éire, which was sung by Sibéal Ní Chasaide. The second part of the concert featured excerpts from Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins ‘The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace’.
The concert, produced in association with The Western Development Commission, will be broadcast on RTÉ lyric FM at a later date.