Thursday 23 October 2014

Singing cleric proves he has mass appeal by headlining New York gig

Published 20/04/2014 | 02:30

Eleanor Hall with some of her handmade custom jewellery. Photo: Tony Gavin

SINGING priest Fr Ray Kelly is heading stateside next month to headline a gig in New York. The Meath cleric has become a global sensation after his version of the Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah, which he performed at a wedding earlier this month, received almost 30 million views online.

The 60-year-old, who has since been inundated with offers to perform, has said his new-found fame will allow him to raise money for good causes. He has agreed to be the star act at an Irish-themed concert in the Town Hall venue in Manhattan on May 13 to support the campaign of the undocumented Irish immigrants.

In an interview with IrishCentral, the Oldcastle, Co Meath priest said: "In the community, when you do the likes of weddings and funerals, you're very conscious of the relatives who are away, some of them legal, many of them not, who can't make it back.

"So it's great to touch base with them and if doing this show in New York brings a little bit of Oldcastle, Co Meath, and Ireland to them, well then, that's beautiful."

THURLES TO HOST HURLING FESTIVAL

THURLES, the birthplace of the GAA, will host a week-long hurling festival as part of a bid to have to Co Tipperary town crowned the official international capital of hurling.

Up to 90 teams from across the country will take part in a 13-a-side tournament in July to compete for the Tom Semple Memorial Cup. The unique festival, which is organised by the Thurles Sarsfields GAA club, has the support of North Tipperary Tourism and will take part on the same week as the Munster hurling final.

Chairman of the organising committee, John Enright, said: "We hope the festival on July 4 to July 12 will be something different. The festival started in 2011 as a tourism venture to promote Tipperary as a tourism area, but it's also a hurling promotion venture."

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