Tuesday 21 October 2014

Stars help Johnny mark 25 years on the airwaves

Padraig Byrne

Published 16/07/2013 | 05:24

DJ Tony Kehoe with Johnny Barry pictured at his celebrations in Ballinabranna GFC Clubhouse for Johhny Barry's 25th Anniversary as DJ with KCLR 96FM.

Some of the biggest stars ever to grace the Irish Country music scene, including the legendary Daniel O'Donnell, descended on Ballinabranna GAA Complex recently to celebrate 25 years on the airwaves for KCLR's Johnny Barry.

 For the past 25 years, Johnny has been playing some of the Ireland's finest country music and he was joined by friends and colleagues from all over the country in Ballinabranna to celebrate the milestone

'The night was a great success,' said Tom O'Keeffe, one of the organisers of the night and a long time fan of Johnny's work.

'The place was absolutely packed to the rafters. It was a full house all around. If I had to guess I'd say we had over 400 people out here at least.'

Johnny's show on KCLR has proved extremely popular over the years and he has aided in the rise of some of the country's biggest starts in the genre.

They were out in force at Johnny's party to show their gratitude to him and repay him for all the airplay he has given them over the years. The main act on the night were Theresa and The Stars, who also played as the house band for performances from Mick Flavin, Mary D'Arcy, Paddy O'Brien, Trudi Lalor, Michael English. Mary D'Arcy paid tribute to Johnny's enthusiasm for Irish Country Music and all the work he has done in promoting it throughout the years and even for newcomers like Derek Ryan and Nathan Carter, while Michael English called him 'a man of the people' and 'everybody's friend'.

The biggest surprise of the night, however, came when Donegal-based country legend, Daniel O'Donnell, turned up to congratulate Johnny on his 25 years and perform a few songs. 'That was the biggest surprise of all,' said Tom O'Keeffe. 'Daniel came in and he did a stint of about 20 minutes on stage and it was brilliant. We had an awful job trying to keep the women away from the stage I can tell you!'

According to Tom, Daniel had been home from Spain to visit his mother, who was feeling a bit under the weather, and he also used the opportunity to join in with Johnny's celebrations.

'It was a special night,' said Tom. 'Johnny was absolutely over the moon with it. Everything went off without a hitch and I'd like to thank the manager at the GAA Complex, Pat Carter, and all his staff for all their hard work on the night.'

Johnny has since been back on the airwaves expressing his delight at how the party went, and he's also hoping to donate some money which was raised on the night to local charities in the coming weeks.

Carlow People

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