THE London Irish Pensioners Choir are no strangers to the big occasion.
They have performed for audiences of tens of thousands over the years, including at London’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square and as part of the Irish community choir in the Royal Albert Hall in honour of President Michael D Higgin’s state visit to Britain in 2014.
But this Saturday, October 7 the choir, led by founder Sally Mulready OBE, will feature in the biggest cultural event it has performed in to date.
RTÉ and the Other Voices team are producing a live concert at the RDS in Dublin to mark 100 years of the Irish State, as part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023.
“Ireland 100: An Old Song Re-Sung commemorates, in performance, song, music, dance, and spoken word, the hundred years from 1923 - 2023 through the lens of Irish culture,” they confirmed.
This weekend the London Irish Pensioners Choir will join some of Ireland’s outstanding artists, singers, musicians and dancers to perform in the concert, which will be broadcast on RTÉ One, RTÉ Player and RTÉ Radio 1 later this month.
The choir have been enjoying a series of rehearsals in London prior to heading over to Dublin for the event.
Deirdre Fraser, wife of the Irish Ambassador to Britain, Martin Fraser, called in to one of the final rehearsals at the London Irish Centre last week to wish the choir the best of luck for their big performance.
Ahead of their performance at Ireland 100: An Old Song Re-Sung, Deirdre Fraser today paid a visit to @LDNIrishCentre to meet with the members of the London Irish Pensioners Choir, and to wish them the best of luck on behalf of the Embassy! 🎼🎶 pic.twitter.com/CnaZoDYh1P
— Embassy of Ireland (@IrelandEmbGB) September 25, 2023
Other artists who feature in the concert include Dermot Kennedy, Damien Dempsey, Aiden Gillen and Tolü Makay as well as Liam Ó Maonlaí, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Loah, Donal Lunny and Martin Hayes.
In a statement this week, the Irish Elderly Advice Netowrk wished the choir well in their performance.
‘Good luck to the Irish Pensioners choir and friends from the Irish Elderly Advice Network as they head to Dublin to take part in a historic concert commemorating 100 years of the Irish state," they said.
"An Old Song Unsung will feature Moving Hearts, Martin Hayes, Donal Lunny and many others - it is billed as the “concert of a century” by RTE and the choir is honoured to be part of it."
The concert will be broadcast on RTÉ One, RTÉ Player and RTÉ Radio 1 on Monday, October 30.