Ballymahon musician, Katie Gallagher, enjoys a laugh with President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina.
Katie Gallagher was thrilled to acquire two new fans recently in the form of the country's first citizens, President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina.
A new state-of-the-art student centre dedicated to enhancing the student experience at DCU and preparing graduates to flourish in the 21st century was officially opened by President Higgins on September 27 and Katie provided musical entertainment for the opening.
'The U', as the new facility is named, is a purpose-built facility housing a broad range of activities and support services, and will serve the needs of DCU’s rapidly growing student community, now numbering over 17,000.
“Michael D was invited to do the grand opening and I was invited to sing in the solas room where he was having a gawk,” Katie told the Leader the day after her big performance.
“The centre is funded entirely by donations, so every year a bit of money went from the student levvy towards it, so it really is a centre for the students by the students.”
It was a real honour for Katie to be there for the opening ceremony and even more of an honour to meet President Higgins.
“He's a lovely man - very short, but with a big presence to make up for it,” Katie laughed.
“I didn't think he'd come over, but he did. Professor Brian MacCraith (President of DCU) introduced us in Irish and we had a whole conversation in Irish.
“We talked about the acoustics in the room and the new building.”
And, she added, Michael D enjoyed her performance on the day, which was a bonus.
In his speech at the opening of the new student centre, the president spoke about the importance of looking after your mental health.
“It was so nice to sit there listening to him,” said Katie.
“He's a very funny man in a very intelligent way.”