A who’s who of the country music world are set to descend on Longford town later this month to honour one of the industry’s most esteemed and respected personalities, Frank Kilbride.
The charismatic Longford man has enjoyed a long career both on stage and in the management side of the industry.
The north Longford man’s first foray into the industry saw him enjoy a successful spell with local group ‘Go Lucky’ before later joining The Virginians’ Showband.
It was during a tour of the UK where he would meet his businessman and subsequent lifelong friend Mattie Lennon, who would later go on with Kilbride to open Edgeworthstown’s Park House Hotel. The popular midlands venue would soon become a mecca for some of Ireland’s leading country bands and artists.
Kilbride’s ability to draw some of the biggest names to a small provincial town like Edgeworthstown would also see him play a key part in the shaping of RTE flagship show, Country Irish.
A presenter with Shannonside Radio for over three decades, an undertaker for almost four decades, a postmaster for 22 years, and a county councillor for 15 years – there isn’t much this affable Longford man hasn’t taken on and mastered!
A proud campaigner in raising thousands of euro for various charities during that time, arguably his biggest challenge arrived only two years ago when Frank was diagnosed with cancer. It was a battle he took on and overcame in true Kilbride style.
To mark Frank’s outstanding contribution to the industry, a ‘Celebration Night’ will be held in the Longford Arms Hotel on Thursday, July 27th. Among the leading acts lined up to appear are Jimmy Buckley, Philomena Begley, Foster and Allen, Brendan Shine, Michael English, Trudi Lalor and many more. There will also be special appearances on the night from former Irish soccer greats Pat Jennings and Niall Quinn.
Tickets are priced at €20 and available at the Longford Arms Hotel, or alternatively attendees can pay at the door on the night.