The best of traditional Irish music was celebrated at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil at the University Concert Hall in Limerick on Sunday night, April 23.

Referred to as "the Oscars of traditional music," the TG4 Gradam Ceoil showcases the best that traditional Irish music has to offer, with seven of the most talented traditional Irish music acts receiving awards during Sunday night's live show. 

The annual event also highlights the undeniable family and community values of traditional music, with six of the seven award winners performing alongside family members on stage at the University Concert Hall. 

A feel-good atmosphere pervaded the venue on Sunday night as the 600-strong audience clapped along with reels and songs expertly performed by some of Ireland's brightest musical talents. 

Louise Mulcahy, who won the group award along with her father Mick and sister Michelle, told IrishCentral on Sunday night that the atmosphere and engagement with the audience are what sets traditional music apart. 

"The energy feeds both ways. They really inspire us in so many ways," Mulcahy told IrishCentral. "It was so moving on so many levels. Just hearing the support from the audience was even more special." 

Mulcahy added that it was a "special occasion" to perform alongside her family on live TV. 

"It's a really special occasion for our family. We've watched Gradam Ceoil for many years seeing our musical heroes being awarded when we were growing up." 

Muintir Mhulcahy ár mealladh le ceol meidhreach ag #Gradam ceoil TG4 @mulcahy_louise

— TG4TV🪬 (@TG4TV) April 23, 2023

Prionsias Ní Ghráinne, TG4's commissioning editor, said Sunday night's show was about family and community, adding that she believes it will inspire a new generation of traditional musicians. 

"Every traditional player in the country is looking at this tonight. The most important thing is that every young traditional player is looking at it," Ní Ghráinne told IrishCentral after Sunday night's show. 

She said the young musician of the year award (won by Méabh Smyth) was of particular importance as it can help kickstart a young musician's career. 

Ceoltóir Óg TG4 ~ @meabh_smyth 💫

— TradTG4 (@TradTG4) April 23, 2023

Ní Ghráinne also spoke of the bond between traditional musicians, pointing to Glasgow native Frank McArdle, who won the Outstanding Contribution Award on Sunday night and performed alongside members of the St. Roch's Ceili Band. She said the St. Roch's group may have different surnames but are like "one big family" because of the bonds formed while playing traditional music together. 

"Tonight was all about the celebration of music and what it does for communities and what it does for the person and the spirit. I think that shone through," Ní Ghráinne said. 

Tá Frank Mc Ardle & criú Ghlaschú @strochs_ ag lasadh suas an stáitse dúinn anseo ag #Gradam Ceoil TG4

— TG4TV🪬 (@TG4TV) April 23, 2023

Síle Denvir, who won singer of the year and delivered a show-stopping exhibition of sean-nós singing on Sunday night, said it meant a lot to receive an award at the Gradam Ceoil and receive the recognition of her peers. 

"I would never have expected this in a million years," Denvir said, adding that she didn't believe it when she received a call from Ní Ghráinne to let her know that she had won the award. 

"I didn't believe it, I thought that somebody was having a joke." 

Sheasfá sa sneachta ag éisteacht le @SileDenvir
Go mairfidh tú do Ghradam a Shíle. #Gradam

— TG4TV🪬 (@TG4TV) April 23, 2023

The 2023 Gradam Ceoil finished with a majestic performance from all of the award winners, with all seven acts performing in tandem as the audience clapped along. 

Na buaiteoirí ar fad!

Go mairfidh sibh an oíche! #Gradam

— TG4TV🪬 (@TG4TV) April 23, 2023

The event saw Dublin musician Mick O'Brien honored as Musician of the Year, joining an illustrious list of traditional Irish musicians, including Matt Molloy and Liam O'Flynn. 

Sunday's celebration of all things traditional Irish music really was a family affair. 

Young Musician of the Year Méabh Smyth performed alongside her brother Tiarnán, who traveled home especially for the occasion, while Composer of the Year winner Maurice Lennon performed alongside several family members on Sunday night. Lennon's uncle Charlie also presented him with the award on Sunday. 

Seo iad an ríl deal ag #Gradam Ceoil TG4. Maurice Lennon & a chairde ag cur fonn damhsa orainn anseo!

— TG4TV🪬 (@TG4TV) April 23, 2023

Mick O'Brien, meanwhile, gave an exemplary performance of the uileann pipes alongside his wife Fidelma and his daughters Aoife and Ciara, while McArdle and Lifetime Achievement winner Fintan Vallely also performed alongside family members. 

Click here to watch Sunday night's show on demand. 

Maistir ar na bpíobaí Mick O'Brien. #Gradam

— TG4TV🪬 (@TG4TV) April 23, 2023