IT HAS played host to many a rousing rendition of Amhran na bhFiann and Ireland’s Call but next week the stands of Croke Park will lift to the sound of a different beat.
Choirs from across Limerick will make the trip to GAA HQ in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the most people singing Christmas carols together in one place.
“It all goes back to the Secret Millionaire programme. Richard Mulcahy wanted us to get Cliona’s Foundation on a national platform. He contacted Croke Park and we are trying to break the Guinness World Record,” explained Brendan Ring who along with his wife, Terry, set up Cliona’s Foundation following the death of their daughter Cliona from a brain tumour in 2006, aged 15.
The Stars, Choirs and Carols event will raise funds for the foundation which provides financial assistance for families with critically ill children in Ireland; and The Sanctuary which is a charity bringing harmony and hope to the lives of thousands of people including the most vulnerable young people in society.
As patron of Cliona’s Foundation, RTE broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan will lead next Thursday’s record breaking event.
Stars, Choirs and Carols will feature 500 adult and school choirs from all over Ireland performing alongside The Army No 1 Band, Dublin Gospel Choir, RTE Cór na nÓG, Tallaght Choral Society, Celine Byrne and a number of other stars.
“There are lots of choirs travelling up to Dublin from Limerick including students from Laurel Hill Colaiste, Colaiste Chiarain in Croom, and Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock,” Brendan told the Limerick Leader.
“Our own parish, Lough Gur/Knockainey, have a choir called Cliona’s Choir who are coming. Thomond Choir are also coming up and loads of individuals are travelling as well.”
Louis Walsh has confirmed his support and will be on stage alongside the stars on the night.
Speaking about the event, Miriam O’Callaghan said it promises to be an “unforgettable festive evening of carols and fun while at the same time helping to support the work of two unique charities – all performing Christmas favourites, old and new”.
Stars, Choirs and Carols is the brainchild of Richard Mulcahy who appeared on RTE’s Secret Millionaire in 2012.
Richard spent 10 days in Limerick undercover. He spent time with various organisations and charities and was so inspired by the Cliona Ring Foundation that he decided to dedicate his time to help raise funds for the charity.
This week, members of the Munster rugby squad including Paul O’Connell, Keith Earls and captain Peter O’Mahony took time out from their training schedule to pose for publicity shots for the campaign and show their support for the good cause.
Stars, Choirs and Carols takes place on Thursday, December 19 from 7pm to 9pm in Croke Park, Dublin.
Tickets, priced at €15, are available from www.tickets.ie, participating Centra and SuperValu stores or contact 1800 90 10 90.
“We are really trying out best, if we don’t break the world record, we will certainly break the Irish record,” said Brendan.
“It will be a very enjoyable night. We are concentrating on making sure that anybody who comes will enjoy the night. We are planning on continuing to do this every year and build on it.”
For more details visit www.starschoirsandcarols.ie