Saturday 24 February 2018

Look out, Justin Bieber: angel-voiced Daniel (13) crowned Ireland’s top talent

Daniel Furlong sings for the East in 'All Ireland Talent Show' final last night
Daniel Furlong sings for the East in 'All Ireland Talent Show' final last night
Cosa Beoga representing the West and Daithi O Se

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

A CHERUBIC-faced Justin Bieber lookalike beat stiff competition to be crowned the winner of ‘The All Ireland Talent Show’ last night.

Aged just 13, Wexford youth Daniel Furlong said he was “speechless” when it was announced he had won.

“I'm definitely off school tomorrow. I still can't believe this has happened. I had never even thought this was possible,” the student at St Peter's College in Wexford told the Irish Independent.

Representing the East, the schoolboy said it had been his own idea to enter the RTE reality show at auditions in Kilkenny last September.

The young soprano, who was wild carded into the finals, said he had no idea how he would be spending the €50,000 he had scooped by taking first prize.

“I suppose it will go back into the music and maybe a few presents for my family,” said Daniel, who celebrated last night with parents Teresa and Tom, sister Roisin (20) and brother Thomas (17).

His mentor, judge Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, described Daniel by saying, “A nicer young fella you couldn’t meet,” after hearing him singing ‘You Raise Me Up' in the final.

“He’s a credit to his mother and apart from my own three lads he’s my fourth favourite lad in the world.

“For the East and Midlands, it’s a huge boost – especially to the Midlands, who have had a few blows recently.”

Thousands auditioned around the country for the national TV talent search, with 40 acts from five regions performing live on the show during the series.

Runners-up included Mad For Road, a five-piece trad band from Limerick; Don Stiffe, a 43-year old former builder turned singer; Cosa Beoga, 10 dancers from Abbeyknockmoy, Galway; and Sean Nos ar an tSionnan, another Irish dance group, with members from Kerry, Sligo, Leitrim, and Roscommon as well as Donegal singer Brian Sheerin.

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