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Who is Ireland's Greatest Living Entertainer?

Could it be Christy Moore or Colin Farrell, Bob Geldof or Bono? What about Gay Byrne or Terry Wogan, Ronnie Drew or Niall Toibin? Could Enya or one of the Corrs claim the honour, or maybe Pierce Brosnan or Gabriel Byrne? Or could it be someone else entirely?

That’s the choice that entertainment buffs the length and breadth of Ireland are being asked to make following the launch today (Tuesday June 14th) of a special one-off award to honour Ireland’s Greatest Living Entertainer as part of the ESB/Rehab People of the Year Awards.

Votes can be cast either by logging on to the web site www.peopleoftheyear.com/greatest or by texting REHAB followed by the nominee’s name to 53500. Closing date for all nominations is Monday 18th July.

An adjudication panel drawn from throughout the main branches of Irish entertainment, including RTE personality Ryan Tubridy who launched the Award today, along with some of the Irish media’s leading entertainment experts, will then choose the winner from the 15 most popular nominees. They will come from categories including light entertainment, film, drama, music, TV/radio and comedy.

Chris Macey, Head of Communications for Rehab, said: “Ireland has an extraordinary international reputation for the great talent across all of the many different forms of entertainment – particularly in areas such as music, film, drama and light entertainment. We thought it would be an interesting addition to the ESB Rehab People of the Year Awards to find out who, out of all our brightest stars, is the best of them all.”

Meanwhile, nominations can also be made on-line at www.peopleoftheyear.com for the other people of the year categories which include the Irish Person of the Year Award, the Young Irish Person of the Year Award and the International Person of the Year Award, along with four winners from areas including community service, arts and culture, peace and reconciliation, business, science & technology, sport and medicine. Nomination papers can also be obtained by contacting Rehab at 01-205 7313. The closing date for receipt of these nominations is Monday, 25th July 2005.

Past People of the Year include John Hume, Mo Mowlam, Brian Keenan, Veronica Guerin, Sir Bob Geldof, Senator George Mitchell and Maeve Binchy.

The identities of the Award winners will be revealed at a special ceremony in the City West Hotel on Saturday September 17th that will be televised live on RTE.

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