Thousands gather at Forum to greet new Irish President

Mon, 14/11/2011 - 09:38 -- Editor

Thousands of people packed into Derry's Millennium Forum last night to catch their first glimpse of the new Irish President Michael D Higgins.Mr Higgins came to Derry to present the winning trophy to the winner of the All Island School Choir awards, which was broadcast live from the Millennium Forum Theatre last night.Mr Higgins was joined by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson, Dr Donal Keegan, Councillor Kevin Campbell, Deputy Mayor of Derry.

Also present were Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness; Peter Sheridan, Chief Executive CoOperation Ireland; Pat Doherty, Chairman Titanic Quarter Ltd; Tom Savage, Chairman, RTÉ Board and representatives of political parties in Northern Ireland.

Wesley College, Dublin was the winning choir in the final of the third annual All-Island School Choir Competition and were pictured in celebration with the newly inaugurated president.

There were three other schools competing in the final. St Joseph's Mercy College, Navan, Co Meath, de la Salle College, Waterford and Victoria College, Belfast. All choirs put on rousing performances, entertaining the audience, which included the President, for over an hour. Some 85 schools from across the country entered the competition and there were 20 schools in four regional finals, broadcast on RTÉ over the last four Sundays.

The overall winners receive £4,000 and each regional final winner is awarded £1,000.