| 10.7°C Dublin

Family future revealed as driving force

CHECKOUT worker Mary Byrne has revealed she entered 'The X Factor' to give her daughter a better life.

The single mother-of-one, who made it through again last night, admitted she struggled financially bringing up Deborah (23) on her own. She said she hoped her new found fame would leave them financially secure.

"There's only the two of us so when I'm gone, I want Deborah to be in a position where she doesn't have to worry about money.

"To be in a position where she is comfortable, to have that as well as knowing her mother was a great singer," Byrne said.

The 50-year-old sailed through another elimination round last night but confessed she had felt nervous about getting booted out. "I'm in shock. Did you not see my face ? I looked at Dermot when he read out my name and said 'Who me?' But I swear it was genuine shock. I just couldn't believe it. I know people were saying to me that I was through but I didn't believe it.

"I just want to say to the people in Ireland , keep voting for me and in their own lives, keep their spirits up. Remember we are a nation of wonderful , loving people and we can get through anything together."

There was good news too for the other Irish contestants.

Tallaght singer Rebecca Creighton survived elimination as her girlband Belle Amie saw off duo Diva Fever during a sing-off.

"It was really heart-breaking being in the bottom three. This has really been a wake-up call for us," said Rebecca. "Part of the problem is that we entered the competition as soloists and that's how people still see us. We need to convince them we're a group."

Back in Dublin in 'The Old Mill' pub in Tallaght, Rebecca's sister Nicola (36) Melissa (31), Maria (29) and brother Paul (25), as well as bar staff, all wore T-shirts in support of the band.

Boyband 1 Direction featuring Niall Horan (17) from Mullingar in Co Westmeath, were among other finalists who made it through the weekend's live shows.

Before the show, Mary Byrne revealed the hardest part of the past few weeks has been being away from her daughter.

A return to Dublin to film material for the reality show only worsened the pain.

"I came home to film some pieces. It was all very enjoyable until we'd finished and I had to walk out the door. It just tore the heart out of me. I cried and cried all the way back over on the flight to England," she said.

Since then, mother and daughter have spoken daily on the phone.

"She rings me, or I ring her. We ring each other three or four times a day because I know how to make her laugh and more importantly, she knows how to make me laugh and that's something I need at the moment," she said.

Living in the 'X Factor' house in London, Byrne said she had received support from two of Louis Walsh's other 'over 28' acts, Storm Lee and Wagner Carrilho.

But with Storm eliminated last night, she has lost one of her big pals on the show.

"I am devasted Storm is gone," said Mary. "I cried tears at the end of the show. I'm sobbing my heart out over him. You wouldn't know Storm the way we do. He is such a great talent. The man didn't deserve to go. He didn't get the chance to do a ballad which he does brilliantly."

Mary also told how she is attracting admirers in London. "I was in a shopping centre last week and every shop I went into, they recognised me. Everyone wanted autographs and to wish me well. They all said they had been voting for me."

On Saturday's show, Byrne had the backing of the judges too. After performing Dusty Springfield hit 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me', Simon Cowell told her: "You are getting this absolutely right," while mentor Louis Walsh added: "Mary you are the heart and soul of 'X Factor'. I am proud to be Irish and working with you."

Irish Independent