Patients give visit from Saoirse and Louis big thumbs-up

Ken Sweeney

LOUIS Walsh and Saoirse Ronan thrilled staff and patients at The National Children's Hospital in Tallaght, Dublin, when they turned up for a special Christmas visit.

The 'X Factor' judge and actress spent more than three hours touring wards as they signed autographs and posed for pictures with 60 young patients.

It's not every day a pop svengali comes through the door, so five-year-old patient Michael Connors, from Shankill, seized the opportunity with an impromptu audition for Walsh.

"Michael blew Louis and Saoirse away singing 'Molly Malone'. It was a highlight of the visit," said a hospital spokeswoman.

Earlier on Friday, Walsh and Ronan arrived at the hospital in a squad car with local gardai and Childline concert organiser Caroline Downey.

"The staff were just as thrilled to see Louis and Saoirse as the patients, and it gave everyone a boost – especially the kids who will be at the hospital over the Christmas period," added the hospital spokeswoman.