Brian Brennan: We're still holding out for a real working class hero
Published 18/10/2010 | 05:00
THE roars of approval and the standing ovation that greeted Mary Byrne's performance on 'The X Factor' on Saturday night showed that she belongs to a rare and endangered species. She is a working class hero.
Week by week, the extraordinary singer, who lives in Ballyfermot in Dublin and tends a checkout in a Tesco supermarket, is demonstrating that excellence is not the pregrogative of the privileged, the highly educated or the 'middle-income Ireland' that the Labour Party is so determined to protect from pain in the years ahead.
True, just 5pc of school leavers from Ballyfermot and Finglas go on to third-level education, but it's not a lady from Foxrock (where the college figure is 100pc) who has won the hearts of millions with her hard work and talent.