'Voice' winner Pat Byrne to bring party home to Borris, Co Carlow
IT looks like being one hell of a homecoming. Borris in Co Carlow will come to a standstill tonight for the return of 'Voice Of Ireland' winner Pat Byrne.
The whole community has been behind the part-time music teacher whose party piece was singing Bruce Springsteen's 'The River' in his local.
That same song has now secured the 22-year-old an album deal with Universal Music after he topped polls in the RTE talent show.
Based in Dublin for the last few weeks, the singing drummer said he expects to be welcomed home around 8pm by an ecstatic crowd of family, friends, and neighbours.
"Everyone in Borris really loved the show. They really got behind me, They're going crazy by all accounts since I won," Mr Byrne told the Irish Independent.
The Carlow man found he had 62 texts and 45 missed calls of congratulations when he checked his phone after the TV final.
Many of those well-wishers will be on the streets of Borris tonight, along with his parents Pat senior, mum Bernadette and brother Simon (21).
But one missing face will be his girlfriend Maria Leacy, who is studying for a Science degree in Maynooth and who will be absent due to exams.
Present in The Helix on Sunday night, she burst into tears when host Kathryn Thomas announced Mr Byrne's win. But she got what every girl dreams of -- a hug from mentor Bressie.
"Everyone ran on stage to congratulate Pat and Maria was left behind crying on her own. I recognised her as we met before and gave her the biggest hug," said Bressie.
The former Blizzards singer and his winning act now plan on getting a single out in the next four weeks and a "good old school album with no programming" in six months' time.