Athlone A Cappella, directed by Hilary Roche, performing at last night's Samaritans Christmas Concert in Athlone.

WATCH: Last night's sold-out Samaritans Christmas concert in Athlone

"I know for a lot of people, especially younger people, Christmas starts with The Late Late Toy Show. But I can safely say that for me, and maybe many of you as well, Christmas starts tonight with the Samaritans concert."

Those were the words of MC Joe MacCarrick during the sold-out annual Samaritans Christmas concert in Athlone last night (Wednesday).

The venue for the popular festive fundraiser was, as Joe put it, "the wonderful surroundings of Athlone Friary, a place synonymous with this event for many, many years."

And those who were unable to secure a ticket for the concert had the option of tuning into an excellent multi-camera live-stream of the event which was broadcast on YouTube by the Midlands Polish Community's MPC -TV

The concert featured performances by the Defence Forces Band of the 2nd Brigade, directed by conductor Capt John Carpenter; Mezzo Soprano Gemma Ní Bhriain, Athlone A Cappella; and the Athlone Pipe Band.

It ended with the audience being invited to join in with a series of well-known Christmas carols.

You can watch the MPC-TV broadcast of the concert, in full, here: