Spirit of Ireland Gala Honours Hozier

The Irish Arts Center in New York held its annual Spirit of Ireland Gala last night where they honoured Hozier, Jean Butler (Riverdance; dancer and choreographer) and Ursula Burns (Xerox Corporation; Chair and CEO).

(Updates to this post are at the end.)

The co-chairs of the event were Irish actors Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne, who introduced Hozier by saying “songwriting is literature.”


Ending the gala, Hozier performed two solo acoustic songs to a standing ovation. Also performing were Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill from The Gloaming and Muldoon’s Picnic.

To Be Alone

Hozier performing at Spirit of Ireland Gala #hozier #irish #iac #gala #nyc #spiritofitelandgala

A video posted by Irish Arts Center (@irishartscenter) on

Take Me To Church

Hozier hasn’t performed Take Me To Church live since his tour ended on March 3 in Istanbul.



#hozier #takemetochurch 🎷🔥#cipriani #nyc #irish #gala #musictomyhears 🎤🇮🇪🇺🇸

A video posted by Katerina Kanaris (@katerina_53) on

I'm a pagan of the good times

A video posted by Amanda Spencer (@jamandakristine) on

Guitar Auction

The annual Spirit of Ireland Gala helps to raise funds for the Irish Arts Center programs and for a new facility that will break ground next year.

As part of the fundraising, there was a silent auction with a Takamine G-Series guitar that Hozier would personalise for the winner that night. (Hozier often plays a Takamine P3NY guitar.) The G-series guitar raised $27,500 in the auction.

However, onstage at the Gala, Hozier played a Martin guitar.

About the Irish Arts Center

The Irish Arts Center seeks to promote Irish arts, culture and history.

  • Performance – including live music, dance, theatre, film, literature, and the humanities
  • Exhibition – including visual arts presentations and cultural exhibitions that tell the evolving Irish story
  • Education – with dozens of classes per week in Irish language, history, music, and dance

You can make a donation to the IAC programming or toward their new facility here.


Irish Central reported on the event revealing that the Gala raised $1.25 million for IAC’s annual programming, the most of any previous fundraising efforts. in addition, the Almost Home fundraising campaign to build their new facility is almost at completion:

The Center has now raised $53 million towards the $62 million in capital required for the construction of a brand new, vastly expanded home for the Irish arts and culture in New York City, at 726 11th Avenue, adjoining the Center’s existing building at 553 West 51st Street. They expect to complete fundraising by the close of the year and break ground in 2017.

The Wall Street Journal wrote briefly about the Irish Arts Center Gala. In their piece they quote Hozier:

In Ireland, said Mr. Hozier-Byrne, a party doesn’t have to take place at a fancy banquet hall like Cipriani or the Pierre.

“A party can appear out of nowhere,” he explained. “It’s all about ‘having the craic.’ That’s a Gaelic word for ‘fun.’ A common greeting at home is ‘What’s the craic?’ Or ‘Where’s the fun?’”

And this great post from Hozier dispelling all height hype:

The Huffington Post published some photos of Hozier’s performance.


In 2012, Jimmy Fallon was honoured with the Spirit of Ireland award and gave a hilarious performance that had the crowd on their feet.

Thanks to all of our contributors with special thanks to @literarypengke and @Megn0481.

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Featured image: Irish Arts Center


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  1. HG thanks for keeping us in the loop. Great acoustic performance, as always, by Andrew. Would love to see the entire performance. What a lovely honour and so well deserved. His lyrics are poetry! 🇨🇦❤️

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