Ye Vagabonds were the big winners at the sold out RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards last night as they scooped up three awards in the categories for Best Traditional Folk Track, Best Folk Group and Best Folk Album. The awards were broadcast live on the night on RTÉ Radio 1.
Other winners on the night included; Lisa O’Neill for Best Original Folk Track with Rock the Machine, Saint Sister for Best Emerging Folk Act, Zoë Conway as Best Folk Instrumentalist while Iarla Ó Lionáird was named Best Folk Singer.
President Michael D. Higgins was in attendance on the night to present Irish folk legend Moya Brennan with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her continued contribution to folk music in Ireland. American singer and folk royalty, Peggy Seeger, was also present at the awards and was on hand as Margaret Barry was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Christy Moore and Declan Sinnott opened the awards ceremony with a very timely and poignant performance of North and South of the River. Caoimhín Ó’Raghallaigh performed a specially commissioned reflective piece on the natural sounds we are losing from our Irish soundscape.
Speaking on the night, Group Head of RTÉ Arts and Culture Ann Marie Power said: “A year has passed since the inaugural RTE Radio 1 Folk Awards in Vicar Street, Dublin, a really special evening, one of those “nights that feed the soul” as described by one listener.
We’re delighted to track the success and progress of so many of last year’s artists are having abroad. It’s really important that they are championed here at home as well and that is what the RTÉ Folk Awards are all about.
Our Folk music is one of our country’s greatest assets and our musicians and songwriters tell the stories of the times in which we live. The songs and tunes performed tonight are a snapshot of a certain time; encompassing the past, the present and the future. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners and to all those who performed tonight”.
Highlights from the ceremony will be broadcast on television on RTÉ One at 11.15pm on Saturday, 26th October.