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Young musicians contribute to Ireland’s successful UN Security Council bid

Photo: Kim Haughton/UN
Photo: Kim Haughton/UN

On Thursday, 18 June Ireland received the historic news that it had successfully secured a two-year term on the UN Security Council.

That landmark moment was the culmination of a months-long campaign that saw our country engage with important issues including peace-building and the elimination of global poverty. A key part of that campaign was the launch of The Drive for Five – a global call to action for the education of adolescent girls – in February 2020.

At the launch, five young traditional Irish musicians from the north-east region of Ireland were invited to represent Music Generation at the UN Headquarters in New York City and to perform alongside members of the UN Choir and the Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus for an audience including Mary Robinson (Chair of The Elders), António Guterres (UN Secretary General) and Bono (co-founder of the ONE Campaign).

The five young musicians who travelled to New York were Kerrianne McArdle (Flute); Evelyn McCaul (Harp); Saoirse McGahern (Bodhrán); Iarla McMahon (Uilleann Pipes); and Kim Poole (Fiddle). Originally these young musicians came together through their membership of ‘Nós Nua – Louth Youth Folk Orchestra’, a collaborative initiative between Music Generation Louth and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Ireland’s north-east region (based at The Oriel Centre, Dundalk Gaol).

Together with members of the UN Choir and the Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus – a choir of immigrant and refugee girls based in Portland, Maine – their performance rounded out this high profile launch event, which was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Ireland.

Their representation at the event was a reminder of the transformative potential of music education, which is the right of every child and young person regardless of their circumstance.

"We are so proud of Kerrianne, Evelyn, Saoirse, Iarla and Kim. As young musicians they represented Ireland on a really prestigious global platform and played an important part in this historic achievement for our country. Their involvement is a brilliant example of how young people, through the power of music-making, can make a real difference in the world" Rosaleen Molloy, National Director