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Editor's Viewpoint

Snow Patrol’s Gary is NI’s national treasure

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Gary Lightbody

Gary Lightbody

Gary Lightbody

Snow Patrol had a royal beginning of sorts — their first gig took place in Belfast’s Duke of York pub. And frontman Gary Lightbody was back on the royal stage yesterday, this time in the fabulous setting of Windsor Castle where, in the company of the Prince of Wales, his OBE was officially presented.

Not only has Gary led the band on a trailblazing rise to popularity around the world, but away from the stage he has lit up a trail for others to follow.

His recognition comes not just for his performances — in 2009 the band’s song Chasing Cars became the most played song of the decade and in 2019 was reported as the most played song of the 21st century in the UK — he has been instrumental in helping to establish the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast which supports aspiring musicians, while his foundation helps charities dealing with mental health, depression and youth engagement.

While at Windsor Castle, Gary may have rubbed shoulders with people like Sir David Attenborough, but Northern Ireland is cultivating a national treasure of our own.

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