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Ed Sheeran plays intimate fund-raiser at London Irish Centre

Sadiq Khan and Georgia Gould secure tickets for special gig in Camden Town

20 June, 2018 — By Helen Chapman

Dermot O’Leary, Gary Dunne and Ed Sheeran

ED Sheeran swapped stadiums and arenas for a far more intimate stage when he played a fundraiser at the London Irish Centre in Camden Town on Tuesday evening.

The singer helped raise more than £250,000 for the centre in Camden Square with an acoustic gig for around 400 people. He also donated two guitars. London Mayor Sadiq Khan and council leader Georgia Gould were among guests who got to see the chart-topping performer up close.X-Factor presenter Dermot O’Leary donated his services as master of ceremonies, and interviewed Mr Sheeran on stage.

Friends star Courtney Cox was in the audience. Fans waited outside the building for a glimpse of their hero and in the hope of a souvenir autograph. The London Irish Centre, a registered charity established in 1955, provides care, culture and support for Irish emigrants in London. Five winners of a draw in March, for fans who donated £10 or more, each received a pair of tickets. Because of the immense demand, 20 tickets were released in May at £500 each.

Lucky politicians meet Dermot O’Leary at the gig

“My Irish heritage is something I’ve always been proud of, so this concert felt like a natural fit,” said Mr Sheeran. “I love what the London Irish Centre charity do in terms of being at the heart of championing Irish culture and community in London. Their plans for the future are really exciting.

Mr O’Leary, who lives in Primrose Hill, added: “My parents were part of the post-war generation of immigrants who came to London to find a new life, so the London Irish community is one very close to my heart.”

Fans outside the London Irish Centre

The centre’s director of culture, Gary Dunne, said: “This event gave us the opportunity to raise essential funds and also announce exciting plans for the future. “We are deeply grateful to Dermot and Ed Sheeran, two stars who remain closely connected to their Irish roots, for joining us on this journey.”

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