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Montgomery Pipe Band also honoured as TG4’s Oscars of Trad move to Belfast

Galway fiddle maestro Frankie Gavin heads Gradam Ceoil roll of honour


The multi-talented fiddle-player and flute player Frankie Gavin heads the list of recipients of the latest Gradam Ceoil TG4 2018 (Traditional Music Awards) announced at a reception in the august surroundings of Belfast City Hall this evening.    A native of Corrandulla,   just north of Galway city, he has been prominent on the national scene for over forty years, first making headlines as founder member of the acclaimed group De Dannan.  His dazzling virtuosity on the fiddle and his championing of the pioneering showmanship in early 20th century recordings of Irish music made in North America have won him many fans within and outside the tradition.

The list also includes a special 2018 award for the local  and legendary world champions of The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band  with TG4 also confirming that the annual glittering Gradam Ceoil concert and awards ceremony is to be held in and broadcast live from Belfast’s Waterfront for the next four years.

The full list of TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2018 recipients reads as follows:

  • Gradam Ceoil – Frankie Gavin
  • Ceoltóir Óg (Young Musician) – Clare Friel
  • Gradam Saoil (Hall of Fame) – Patsy Hanly
  • Amhránaí na Bliana (Singer) – Máire Ní Chéileachair    
  • Comaoin (Special Contribution) – Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin
  • Comharcheol (Musical Collaboration) – CONCERT created by Colin Dunne with Sinéad Rushe and Mel Mercier
  • Gradam Speisialta (Special Award) – The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band

(Biographies available on

Gradam Ceoil TG4 is the premier annual traditional music awards scheme and academy.  An independent panel of adjudicators selects recipients each year.  It is not a competition.  The Gradam Ceoil recipients are presented with a specially-commissioned piece by leading sculptor John Coll as well as a small stipend.    This year’s awards will be presented at the Gradam Ceoil TG4 Concert in the Waterfront, Belfast on Sunday 4th February. At this live televised concert, hosted by Páidí Ó Lionáird & Gráinne McElwain, the 2018 Gradam recipients will be joined in performance on stage by their own special musical guests in a unique, star-studded line-up of musicians and award-presenters.

TG4’s Leascheannasaí (Deputy CEO) Pádhraic Ó Ciardha says that the Gradam Ceoil continues to honour major figures in Irish traditional music during their lifetime.  “TG4 has a deserved reputation for offering a broad range of traditional music and we are privileged to curate and sponsor this deserved recognition for extraordinary and talented artists.  We are particularly  excited that Gradam Ceoil TG4 is taking up a four year residency in Belfast and the list 2018 recipients just announced  certainly reflect the depth and diversity of musical talent in that part of the world”.   

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Nuala McAllister said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Belfast is to host this prestigious event for the first time. Gradam Ceoil celebrates the best of traditional Irish music and song, and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the very worthy and talented recipients of the 2018 prize.

“As we bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023 our music and arts scene has been well and truly in the spotlight, demonstrating the important of culture as a driver for success for any city; so it pleases me especially to be here this evening to launch yet another fantastic event for Belfast.”

Tickets for TG4 Gradam Ceoil Awards 2018, priced £25, available from  or +44(0)2890 334455.
For more information see or Facebook and Twitter @GradamCeoil  #GCTG4

More information:

Linda Ní Ghríofa, TG4 – 087 9172864,

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