By Aileen Hahesyaileen.firstname.lastname@example.org@TheNationalist
Almost 500 music lovers gathered at Hotel Minella in Clonmel to hear the Garda Band and an eclectic line-up of local choirs, singers and musicians perform at Clonmel Garda District's annual gala charity concert.
The show kicked off Clonmel's Christmas social season on a high note and at the same time raised thousands of euros for two worthy local causes - the Clonmel-based Cancer CARE Support Centre and South Tipperary General Hospital's Paediatric Unit.
The young singers of the Sisters of Charity National School choir opened the show and were followed by Cashel singer Thomas Grogan and the Tipperary Gospel Choir.
A surprise addition to the programme was a rousing performance by pipers and drummers from the Moycarkey/Borris Pipe Band in Littleton.
It was the turn of the special guests, the Garda Band to take to the stage in the second half of the show. The band performed for an hour, during which Clonmel- based band member Siobhan Cahill performed a solo piece on the flute.
The band also accompanied several singers including Master of Ceremonies, Cahir-based Garda Inspector Eddie Golden, who closed the show.
Clonmel Garda Superintendent William Leahy said it was an excellent night and they are already looking ahead to next year's show.
He said the final tally on how much the show raised for the two nominated local charities isn't yet known but the proceeds will be presented to CARE and South Tipperary General Hospital early in the New Year.
Supt. Leahy paid tribute to all the singers and musicians who performed in the show and all those involved in organising the event.
He also thanked everyone who purchased tickets for the concert, attended the show and the 40 local businesses who sponsored the show programme.
"Clonmel Gardaí and the two charities appreciate people putting their hands in their pockets. We are really a nation of givers, " he added.
Meanwhile, Clonmel Community Gardaí hosted their annual Christmas party for senior citizens from the town and district in Hillview Sports Club on Wednesday night last.
An estimated 125 senior citizens attended the event.