Travellers show their Pride in singer Kelly
HIS mother may well be used to being under the spotlight, but barely a week after coming into the world it was the turn of little Bernie Mongan McDonagh to meet his adoring fans.
The son of Voice of Ireland runner-up Kelly Mongan, Bernie was one of the star attractions at the recent annual Traveller Pride awards, where his mum was toasted for her outstanding contribution to the community.
The teenager from Fermoy, who was pipped at the post for the Voice of Ireland crown by Charleville's Keith Hanley, won the respect of people across Ireland for her gutsy live performances during the talent show.
Her drive and determination to succeed was honoured at the awards ceremony, where she was one of a number of people presented with gongs by Olympian John Joe Nevin and World and European boxing champion Katie Taylor.
Speaking after she was presented with the Traveller Pride music award, a delighted Kelly said her love of music had been the driving forced behind her success.
"Music has been a big passion all of my life. That's why I am so honoured to have been given this award and to have come so far in the Voice of Ireland competition," said Kelly.
"I am hoping this is not the end and I will go much further with my music career," she smiled.
Kelly admitted that she was tired after all of the excitement of the past few weeks but said "the adrenaline is keeping me going."
Now in its fourth year, the Traveller Pride awards recognise the achievements of individuals within their community and to Irish society as a whole.
As well as Kelly, this year's roll of honour included people from across all walks of life, including two of Ireland's last remaining traveller tinsmiths, Tom McDonnell and James Collins and Savanna McCarthy from Listowel, who is the captain of the Irish ladies U-17 soccer team.