Thursday 27 October 2016

Ireland's rising stars: 12 faces to watch in 2016

Published 22/12/2015 | 10:16

Girlband Liir
Girlband Liir
Thalia Heffernan
Tracy Clifford: Twitter
All TvVins
Holding back? Sarah Maria Griffin at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Photo: Alan Leggit
Ronan Keating
Joanne McNally. Photo: Patrick Bolger
Red Rock ep 67 on TV3 Detective Garda Rory Walsh (played by Chris Newman) is the latest detective to join the rank. Seans excited to have more men on the team but is soon disappointed when the handsome. Is Sean about to be knocked off his podium as Red Rocks resident hunk? New episode airs Wednesday 20:30 November 18th on TV3
Rebecca Horan pictured at the launch of Dublin Fashion Festival 2014
Cork actor Dave Tynan
Snapchat star James Kavanagh
Louise McSharry. College Green, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Here's a dozen Irish acts whose stars continue to rise - keep an eye on this crowd next year, they're about to get even bigger.

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1 Thalia Heffernan


The stunning model has been working on the Dublin scene for a few years now with Morgan The Agency, but she's just signed with London bigwigs Elite and is expected to go stellar in 2016. Famous for her full pout, wild hair and incredible body, the 20-year-old is sure to be snapped up to star in campaigns the world over, joining the likes of Faye Dinsmore and Laura O'Grady at the top of the high-end fashion tree.


michelle mcgrath.png  

Okay, so one of the girls in this three-piece band is a Dub, but all of them are based in the city working on making it in to the charts. Michele McGrath is a Skerries native, known for the pop group Industry, appearing in the Cheerios Childline panto and for being a top Dublin model (as well as her relationship with former UFC star Cathal Pendred), but she's hoping that girlband Liir will be what she's known for best in 2016.

Leanne Moore and Kim Hayden round out the line-up, and while the band remain unsigned, they're building buzz online, releasing beautiful cover versions of famous songs.

3 Tracy Clifford


She took over the daytime slot previously occupied by Rick O'Shea on 2fm back in the autumn, and this Ranelagh girl has been going strong ever since. For years she co-hosted Spin 103.8's breakfast show, so those familiar with early-morning radio will recognise her. But now she's going it alone on the national broadcaster, and doing quite a fine job with it. Check her out weekdays from 1pm-4pm.

4 All TvVins


They've been compared to Haim and Bloc Party, and Dublin duo Conor Adams and Lar Kaye spent the latter part of this year touring with Kodaline and honing their craft.

Their debut album will drop in early 2016, but you might already know them from their songs Too Young to Live and Thank You. Plus, their song Darkest Ocean was chosen as part of the soundtrack for video game FIFA16 - pretty cool whether you're into gaming or not.

5 Sarah Maria Griffin


She first made waves with her debut book, a memoir about moving from Dublin to San Francisco, in 2014. Now she's back in Dublin and in the process of writing her second book and first novel, Spare & Found Parts, for an offshoot of Harper Collins.

It's due out in the latter half of next year, and if the current crop of young writing talent in Ireland for young adults is anything to go by, it's definitely one to keep an eye out for - and it's part of a two-book deal.

6 Ronan Keating


Okay, so this is a name we all know well - Keating has been around since his 90s heyday in Boyzone. This was a busy year for him, starring in Once: The Musical in London and marrying his beautiful partner Storm. However, in 2016 he's back with a brand new solo album - his first since Fires in 2012.

He recently tweeted that the name of his new record may have changed, but Ro, it's due to land in February so you'd better settle on one ASAP…

7 Joanne McNally


She made her bones as a comedian over the last 12 months touring with PJ Gallagher for their show Separated at Birth. But Dalkey native Joanne's star really began to rise when she joined Republic of Telly last autumn, replacing Jennifer Maguire as the show's female lead alongside Kevin McGahern. Her talents aren't restricted to telly though - she's a regular on the stand-up scene, and always hilarious.

8 Chris Newman

Red Rock ep 67 - Embargoed until Monday 9th November (10).jpg  

Chris has been acting since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, taking the starring role in Song for a Raggy Boy aged 14. He was killed off in the very first episode of Love/Hate, and has appeared in The Clinic. His latest role is as dishy detective Rory Walsh in Red Rock. He appeared on our screens late last month and has already made an impact in the fictional seaside town…

9 Rebecca Horan

Rebecca Horan.jpg  

You'll likely already be familiar with her dulcet tones from years of reading the news on Today FM and Newstalk, but Rebecca has been slowly moving towards a career in front of the camera as well as on the wireless. She's been popping up on Midday and the Today Show as a talking head, and according to her Twitter, has big plans for 2016. Watch this face.

10 Dave Tynan

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The Dublin-based filmmaker first made waves with his short Just Saying back in 2012, but his latest one, Rockmount, made in association with the Irish Film Board, landed on YouTube only a few weeks back.

It's been garnering awards attention all around Ireland, winning prizes at the Galway Fleadh and Kerry Film Festival, and is definitely one to check out - no doubt about it, this guy will be a future Irish great.

11 James Kavanagh

James Kavanagh.png  

Anyone with the app Snapchat will already know of the inimitable JamesKava - the Cabra-based PR guru has been setting the platform alight for the last few months and has thousands of followers all over Ireland and is indicative of the rise of the social media celebrity.

His short videos are a mix of comedy, performance and the banal - from frightening his boyfriend William half to death to blogger-style anti-tutorials and rails against basic bitches. If you're not already following him, you're missing out.

12 Louise McSharry


She's known for her evening radio show on 2fm and for the inspiring documentary F**k Cancer that charted her battle against the disease, but keep a firm eye on Louise - 2016 will see the release of her first book.

Part memoir, part essays, it's a look inside a razor-sharp mind and is sure to be full of wit and wisdom. It's due out in the spring. Plus, anyone that follows her on social media will know that she's a bit of a beauty icon, so let's hope there are some make-up tips in there too.

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