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14 Aug 2022

Nenagh songwriter Brendan Graham is honoured with Lifetime Achievement award

Nenagh songwriter Brendan Graham is honoured with Lifetime Achievement award

Brendan Graham: Honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

World renowned Nenagh songwriter, composer and author Brendan Graham has received yet another accolade for his work over more than 50 years.

The north Kerry village of Finuge’s Seán McCarthy Memorial Weekend of music, story and song proudly presented the Seán McCarthy Lifetime Achievement Award to Brendan for his great contribution to the Irish songbook.

Former Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Festival founder, Jimmy Deenihan made the presentation to Brendan.

The man who penned hugely successful songs such as You Raise Me Up and Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears, was accompanied by Róisín O’Reilly and Tipperary musician Denis Carey from Newport, who performed a range of Brendan’s best known hits in Teach Siamsa, Finuge.

Brendan expressed his gratitude following the announcement.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this year’s Seán McCarthy Lifetime Achievement Award. Given the high standard of the craft of song writing achieved by both Seán himself, with his classics like Shanagolden, Redhaired Mary and also reached by the previous recipient in 2019, Mickey McConnell with classics like Only Our Rivers Run Free and December 1914. These timeless songs have touched so many people who received them into their hearts. It is a spur for me to keep writing and to try to reach that higher ground of writing, which Seán and Mickey inhabit.”

Sean McCarthy and Brendan Graham’s song writing gave a voice to the Irish diaspora all over the world in tune with Ireland’s long history of emigration, cementing the link between Ireland and its people abroad.

This is Brendan’s third award in the past 12 months for song writing, including standing ovations following recent performances of You Raise Me Up by Westlife and Andre Rieu in Dublin and at the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics closing ceremony.

Brendan, whose first song was recorded 54 years ago, shared his delight in his song Lullaby for the World shared on World Earth Day in April 2022 for a second year.

He also wrote two Eurovision Song Contest winning songs, Rock 'n' Roll Kids by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan, and The Voice by Eimear Quinn.

Brendan has worked with a range of artists, including Josh Groban, Westlife, IL Divo, Celtic Woman and Katherine Jenkins.

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