AS the world mourns the death of Luciano Pavarotti, Monsignor Peter Shields recalled how the tenor chose Dundalk for his first concert outside Italy and went on to forge a great friendship that spanned over four decades.
Monsignor Shields was the man responsible for bringing the 27-year-old aspiring star to Dundalk. Compared to the phenomenal amounts of money the star commanded in later years, it cost only 5 to bring him to Dundalk.
He described his first meeting with the tenor.
"He was performing in Madame Butterfly in Belfast and we in the St Cecilia's Gramaphone Society went to see the production.
"We met Pavarotti and asked him would he like to come to Dundalk and sing for us. He told us he would be delighted to and said it would be his first ever concert outside Italy.
"You have to remember he wasn't any way famous at the time and was just glad to get to perform."