The Princess Grace Irish Library and The Ireland Funds Monaco hosted an afternoon of music and singing in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and His Children Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.
The audience at the library enjoyed the display of talent by four harp students from L’Académie de Musique Fondation Prince Rainier III de Monaco, who regaled the audience with traditional Irish airs.
They were joined by special guest from Ireland, the award-winning, traditional flute player Dr Fintan Vallely, former Academic-in-Residence, recipient of The Ireland Funds Monaco Bursary, who roused emotions and had feet tapping to the melodies.
After the concert guests were treated to apple cupcakes, decorated with shamrocks, made by pupils from the Lycée Technique & Hôtelier de Monaco and drinks thanks to the generosity of our sponsors The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. and La Distillerie de Monaco.
Credit for all photos : Eric Mathon / palais princier
Apple cupcakes, decorated with shamrocks by pupils from the Lycée Technique & Hôtelier de Monaco
The trustees of the Princess Grace Irish Library wish to thank the following for their support:
The Ireland Funds, a global philanthropic network established in 1976 to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland, and Irish-related causes around the world. It has benefited the work of thousands of different organisations, with both financial and non-financial support. Today, The Ireland Funds is one of the largest independent grant makers for the non-profit sector in Ireland. www.irelandfunds.org
Our thanks to our sponsors for the drinks reception
H.S.H. Prince Albert II and His Children Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at the Princess Grace Irish Library. In the photo (from right to left) Dr Fintan Vallely, a traditional flute player, a former Academic-in-Residence and recipient of The Ireland Funds Monaco Bursary, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II de Monaco, harp students Anaïd Conquet, Margaux Horgne, Mathilde Grinda, Justine Leblanc and harp teacher Mme Noëlle Vera from L’Académie de Musique Fondation Prince Rainier III de Monaco. Front row: Princess Gabriella and Hereditary Prince Jacques.
Dr Vallely was honoured with the highest accolade for contribution to traditional music in Ireland, a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Irish-language television provider TG4’s Gradam Saol on 6th March 2023. Dr Vallely’s work during The Ireland Funds Monaco residency on the collection of the Irish-American music sheets at the Princess Grace Irish Library has resulted in a comprehensive, online catalogue listing and ensures that the music collection plays an important part in academic research, while gaining the library international recognition as a centre of cultural excellence for Ireland.
The Princess Grace Irish Library was delighted to welcome Fintan to perform from the Princess Grace song sheet collection, which entailed immense work on his behalf for the catalogue project. We are very grateful for his invaluable contribution to the Library.
Musician, writer, and researcher in Irish Traditional music.
Fintan has written and edited numerous books on Irish music, including the first tutor for Irish flute in 1986. He has taught at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, University of Ulster, Dundalk Institute of Technology and Trinity College, Dublin, and was honoured with Adjunct Professorships at University College, Dublin in 2013 and 2023. His PhD is on the flute in Ireland, and his major work has been editing the encyclopaedia Companion to Irish Traditional Music (1999, 2011 and 2024) and its complementary audio-visual concert show, CD and DVD Compánach. His most recent book is on the history of the bodhrán drum.
During his time as The Ireland Funds Monaco Academic-in-Residence, at the Princess Grace Irish Library he studied and photographed the library’s Irish-American song-sheet archive, and returned by invitation to catalogue it in 2019.
Present at the concert were the President of The Ireland Funds Monaco, Guadalupe Smurfit (second from right) and the current Writer-in-Residence, Dr Gráinne Hurley (far-left), the spring 2023 recipient of The Ireland Funds Monaco Bursary, who is spending a month at the Princess Grace Irish Library writing her book on American-born Irish writer Mary Lavin, Dr Fintan Vallely, former Academic-in-Residence (second from left) and Trustees of the library: Her Excellency Ms Anne-Marie Boisbouvier (left of the Prince), Mr Peter Murphy (right of the Prince) and Mr Mark Armstrong (far-right)
Benefactor’s plaque unveiled
An unveiling ceremony in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert II took place at the library to honour the late Mrs Paul Gallico for her invaluable contribution to the Princess Grace Irish Library as trustee. Entrusted with the role by Prince Rainier III, Virginia’s dedication and passion for the library reached across almost forty years from the early germ of the idea and its inauguration in 1984 until 2017, when she stepped down from her role. She continued as Honorary Trustee until her death in 2022.
Virginia Gallico (centre of back row in photo below) was wife of the late writer Paul Gallico, whose book ‘The Steadfast man – A life of St Patrick’ is on display at the library. Her daughter Ludmila and grand-daughter Casmira Verkade were present at the unveiling. A bust of Irish playwright Oscar Wilde by sculptor Kees Verkade, Ludmila’s late husband, is on display at the library.
H.S.H. Prince Albert II de Monaco is welcomed by the Trustees and Director of the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco (from left to right): Her Excellency S.E. Mme l’Ambassadeur Extraordinaire et Plénipotentiaire de Monaco, Délégué Permanent auprès de l’U.N.E.S.C.O. (Mme Anne-Marie Boisbouvier), H.S.H. Prince Albert II de Monaco, Mr. Peter K. Murphy, Paula Farquharson, Director and Mr Mark Armstrong. Front row : Princess Gabriella and Hereditary Prince Jacques