James McGarrity has solely kept the Irish Country Music scene afloat over the last 18 months and raised tens of thousands of pounds for fellow musicians.
The County Tyrone man, who now lives in Ballycastle, also scored five Number One songs on the iTunes charts.
In a letter to Mr McGarrity acknowledging his contribution to the music industry, Mr Higgins said: “I was greatly inspired to learn of the remarkable work you have undertaken on behalf of your fellow musicians during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I am greatly conscious of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has had on those who work in the performance of the arts, and deeply grateful for your efforts to ensure so many musicians receive the financial support they required.”
The President noted that throughout his career Mr McGarrity has given so generously of his time and talent to assist those who are vulnerable or in need.
“That is a wonderful legacy of which you can be very proud,” he said.
President Higgins went on in his letter to invite him to a garden party at Áras an Uachtaráin as soon as conditions allow. He added: “May I take this opportunity to thank you directly for your kindness, compassion and many acts of good citizenship, which have earned you widespread respect and appreciation.”
Mr McGarrity has written many songs some of which have been recorded by stars like Robert Mizzell, Patrick Feeney, and Owen Mac.
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