Fundraiser in aid of Drogheda Cares at Christmas and The Barlow House Restoration Project

  • 8th Dec
  • 20:00
  • €15/ Other ticket oulets to be announced
  • Augustinian Church, Shop Street

book tickets now

Sunday 8th December


Michael Holohan composer; singers, soloists, musicians, The Tredagh Singers and The Boyne Valley Chamber Orchestra will come together to re-premiere a new orchestral arrangement of the famous Christmas Carol ‘Angels We Have Heard on High’.

The lyrics of this famous carol was written in 1862, by none other than a man from Drogheda, Archbishop James Chadwick whose parents are buried in the vaults of the Augustinian Church, Shop St.

This concert promises to be an historic evening. The composer feels that it is like ‘bringing the carol back home’ from the wider world and giving it back as a  Christmas present  to the citizens of Drogheda’. The carol will be sung in English, Irish and French.

Michael has assembled a star studded line up which will include the following performers:Mick O’Brien uilleann pipes; Hannah O’Brien, Niamh Browne, Amie Dyer, Amy Judge, Trudy Maguire and Máire Ní Choilm singers; Simon O’Dwyer Bronze Age horns; Brian Dunning flute; The Tredagh Singers, The Boyne Valley Chamber Orchestra and Michael Holohan conductor.

As an added bonus, concert goers will also get the opportunity to hear music from the acclaimed ‘Airs of Old Drogheda’ concert which took place in the Augustinian Church during the Fleadh Cheoil last August. Funds raised will go towards Drogheda Cares at Christmas and The Barlow House Restoration Project.  Tickets are also available at the Augustinian Shop, Shop St.


James Chadwick was born on April 24, 1813 in Mornington . His father John Chadwick, from an old Catholic Lancashire family, set up a number of very successful Linen and Flax Mills in Drogheda. James’s mother Frances Dromgoole was Irish and came from the surrounding area. As a young man James left Drogheda to be educated and study for the priesthood at St. Cuthbert’s College of Ushaw, County Durham , in north England. He was ordained a priest in the 1836. He was highly regarded as a theologian and wrote a number of books on the subject. Such was his reputation that he was invited to give the inaugural sermon at the blessing of the new Augustinian Church, Shop St in 1866. However, due to his impending consecration as Archbishop of Newcastle and Hexham he was unable to attend the blessing ceremony in Drogheda. Later on he returned to Mornington church (old)  to officiate at the wedding of his niece.He held positions such as chaplain and bishop and remained strongly connected to the college. At his death on May 14, 1882, Chadwick was buried right there in Ushaw. During the later years of his life, in 1862. Chadwick wrote the lyrics to “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Chadwick based his text on a contemporary French piece known as “Les Anges dans nos campagnes” by Francois-Auguste Gevaert. The words of Chadwick’s piece are not a direct French to English translation, but the general ideas and “plot” remain the same in addition to the tune, a traditional French noel. The famous Gloria ( based on a Gregorian Chant) was added as the chorus. An earlier Anglican version of the carol , Angels from the Realms of Glory  was written by Scottish poet James Montgomery. It was first printed in the Sheffield Iris on Christmas Eve 1816. Both Chadwick's and Montgomery's versions of the carol are now famous and are sung throughout the world at Christmas time.