arachas’s The Great Big Irish Thank You, on Virgin Media on October 4, will be a combination of the best of Irish talent, the highest production values and incredible accounts of humanity and kindness from all over the country. All of which will make this a night of riveting TV to remember.

Bill Malone, director of programming at Virgin Media Television, said: “The Great Big Irish Thank You is an evening of much-needed escapism, entertainment and live music, and an opportunity to take a moment to acknowledge, and say thank you, to everyone who has played their part, big and small, in making a difference with regard to the challenges this country has faced over the past months.

“Virgin Media Television is delighted to partner in such a positive and worthwhile initiative.”

Amanda Dunleavy, executive producer of Tyrone Productions, added: “We are delighted to partner with and Virgin Media to bring this very special show to air. Covid-19 has asked so much of the Irish people and this is our chance through story and song to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all those who have supported and continue to support each other in these unprecedented times.”

This sentiment was shared by Peter Vandermeersch, publisher at Independent News & Media.

“It’s the biggest story of our lifetime: Covid-19 and its impact on the society,” he said. “As a newspaper we have been covering each and every aspect of it: the scientific angle and the medical one; the consequences for our economy and our society; if we can have a holiday abroad or stick to a staycation; the consequences for schools and pubs.

But above all the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent and have been writing about people — about men and women who became ill and people who paid the highest price.

But especially about all these people who were fighting the consequences of the pandemic: nurses and doctors, people who clean care homes or keep elderly people company, bus drivers and people working in supermarkets, newspaper sellers and delivery people.

We have a great common name for them: frontline workers. These people, who in many cases are not being well paid, are the real heroes of this crisis. Our society kept functioning because of them. We want to put all these people in the spotlight, and say a big ‘thank you’. We will do this in a universal language: music. From the stage we make a very deep bow for all the frontline workers.”

Celine Gilmer, marketing director of Starbucks Ireland, one of the sponsors, said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has affected so many people, leaving us all yearning for some sense of normality. Music is so often an outlet for escape, and this exciting show is a reminder that we can still enjoy some fun and entertainment in these difficult times.”

Conor Brennan, CEO of fellow sponsors Arachas, said:

“The Great Big Irish Thank You is a powerful event that reminds us all of the part we play in looking out for each other. As an insurance broker, looking out for people is at the heart of what we do and we are delighted to help bring The Great Big Irish Thank You to life as we say thank you to our customers, team and community.”

Eoin Kellet, MD of the Cadbury owner, Mondelez, added:

“Kindness and generosity are integral to the Cadbury brand and our core values. Right across the country, we have seen countless selfless acts that have made people’s days a little easier during these difficult times. This event is about recognising and thanking those people for their kindness and resilience over the past six months, and we are truly delighted to lend our support.”


On October 10, Today FM will broadcast some fantastic Irish performances from The Great Big Irish Thank You, with interviews from various artists conducted by Fergal D’Arcy.