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Thursday, October 7, 1999 Published at 22:02 GMT 23:02 UK

UK: Northern Ireland

Corrs and Divine Comedy scoop awards

The Corrs: Best Irish live performance and best female singer

Ireland's biggest rock and pop awards have been dominated by The Corrs and The Divine Comedy.

BBC NI Arts Correspondent Maggie Taggart reports from the awards ceremony
The family band from Dundalk, County Louth, scooped three of the accolades at the Heineken/Hot Press Awards in Dublin on Thursday, while Neil Hannon's band won three more.

Some of Ireland's biggest music stars turned out for the event in the HQ on Middle Abbey Street, which will be broadcast by BBC Northern Ireland on Saturday.

Chart successes WestLife, the Northern Ireland band Ash and Sinead O'Connor - who adopted the name Mother Bernadette when ordained a priest by a rebel Catholic Bishop earlier this year, also attended the event.

Lifetime contribution

Jazz legend Nina Simone, was flown in from her home in France as a special guest and was presented with an award for her lifetime contribution to music.

[ image: Nina Simone flew in to receive a special award]
Nina Simone flew in to receive a special award
WestLife picked up the prize for best Irish pop act, beating Boyzone, whose lead singer Ronan Keating co-manages the band.

Brian McFadden from WestLife said he was still reeling from the shock of winning an award.

"It's only a year ago when I was working in McDonald's and all the other lads were doing ordinary jobs too," he said.

"It's hard to believe that here we are now winning the award for Best Irish Pop Band."

The band has already had two number one hits and currently has two other singles in the charts.

[ image: Robbie Williams: Best live performance]
Robbie Williams: Best live performance
The Corrs won best Irish band, best live performance by an Irish act and their lead singer Andrea Corr was named best female singer.

The Divine Comedy took the trophy for best Irish album and the band frontman Hannon picked up best male singer and best Irish songwriter award.

Robbie Williams' sell-out concert at The Point theatre, Dublin won him the prize for best live performance by an international act.

His award was accepted on his behalf by Boyzone's Keith Duffy.

Omagh fundraiser recognised

The man behind Across The Bridge of Hope album, produced to raise money for the Omagh Fund for victims of the bombing, was also recognised tonight.

Ross Graham from Killinchy, County Down, was presented with the Industry Award for the project.

Ireland's best known band, U2, was absent but won the award for best Irish single for the hit The Sweetest Thing.

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