Whelan confirms plans to bring Riverdance to big Limerick venue

Eugene Phelan

Reporter:

Eugene Phelan

IT has been a huge hit in China, the US and all over the world and while it took Limerick composer Bill Whelan 18 years to bring Riverdance home, it was worth the wait.

IT has been a huge hit in China, the US and all over the world and while it took Limerick composer Bill Whelan 18 years to bring Riverdance home, it was worth the wait.

And the good news is the Limerick composer is looking at bigger venues in Limerick to bring the full show here in 2014 – which will be the 20th anniversary of the production.

“We can make it happen we can bring it here,” he said this weekend.

The 250 privileged guest at the UL president Don Barry’s gala dinner in the Strand hotel, who gave the musicians and troupe of dancers a standing ovation, also witnessed the first time that Bill Whelan, in the history of Riverdance, actually played with the musicians.

“We often talked about bringing it to Limerick and this is the first step. It is a big night for me and a big night for all of us with a great vibe here,” said Bill Whelan, who is on the board of the UL Foundation and a very proud Limerickman.

The Grammy Award-winning Riverdance composer, producer and arranger regaled the audience about his time at Crescent College and when he went to Dublin to protest in an effort to get a university for Limerick. “Now we have one of the best in these islands,” he told the audience.

He was delighted “in the words of Bob Dylan to bring it back home. It has been to Beijing, where we were greeted by 40 Chinese Irish dancers – and now finally I have got it back to Limerick.”