Singer Damien Dempsey came face to face with his mini me when he went back to his junior school Scoil Bhride in Donaghmede today.
The Dublin songwriter met six-year-old Zane Gibson, a pupil in first class, who dressed in identical denim shirt to Dempsey and sang ‘Apple of My Eye’ with his idol as part of his first class school Christmas play.
Zane and the pupils worked their version of the song into their show ‘Christmas with Culchie Aliens’, their take on the nativity story, which sees four culchies from Mayo, Cork, Kerry and Donegal getting stranded in Donaghmede.
Damien was guest of honour at the performance, and explained it was an invitation he couldn’t turn down: All the kids wrote me little letters to come along,” he explained. “So how could I say no?”
Although he admits that in his schooldays the performances were less polished. “I was here during the 1980s, a particularly bad recession, and we never had drama and singing as good as this.”
Damien took to the stage at the end of the play along with his flute player Eamonn de Barra to perform Your Pretty Smile with the pupils of first class, for parents and teachers of the Junior School .
The Donaghmede native recently returned to live in the suburb where he grew up and relishes being back around the familiar streets and people.
“Community is what gets us through the hard times, Recessions will come and go, we need to stick together through all times and look after each other – old people, neighbours, our families."
2014 sees Damien releasing a best of album in February and continue touring to “spread the message”. And Damien’s message? “Look after each other, don’t look down on anyone and love yourself.”