independent

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Farrell family on song with TV debut on TG4

Alex, Tommy and Ruby Farrell playing their instruments during their television debut on TG4’s Réalta Agust Gaolta
Alex, Tommy and Ruby Farrell playing their instruments during their television debut on TG4’s Réalta Agust Gaolta

Cathy Lee

The children of the Farrell family, who live in Gorey and attend local schools, were one of eight families to feature on TG4's family talent show, Réalta Agus Gaolta, hosted by Síle Seoige. The Farrell siblings Alex (14), Ruby (13) and Tommy (10) love to play traditional Irish music together both in the Gaeltacht during the summer months and in their locality here in Gorey, and they were delighted to have had the chance to play in front of the judges at the RTÉ studies in Dublin.

Alex Farrell plays the button accordion, while her sister Ruby plays the concertina and both girls are students at Gorey Community School. The youngest Farrell plays the banjo and he is a student at Bunscoil Loreto in Gorey. The young Farrell's often play as part of the Gorey/Ballygarrett Comhaltas and in recent years they have done their community proud playing their instruments together at the County Wexford, Leinster and All-Ireland Fleadhs.

Judges Irial O' Ceallaigh, Sinéad Ní Uallacháin and Jim Lockhart of Irish band, The Horslips, were impressed by the musical talents of the children on Sunday but the Farrells were unlucky in the end not to succeed to the next round of the family talent competition. On the night, judge Irail O' Ceallaigh said that the children were very good musicians and added that they were at a 'Very high standard'. Jim Lockhart said that he was delighted to see from these children that trad music was 'Still strong in Gorey' as it always was and remarked on how he learnt his first tune on the tin whistle while in Gorey.

Although the children are no strangers to public performance, they really enjoyed being part of the music television programme, and they were delighted to experience how things work behind the scenes as TG4.

Gráinne Farrell, mother to Alex, Ruby and Tommy said that she decided to send a video clip to the programme of her children playing their music at home. She was delighted to hear that they had chosen to be part of it. 'It was the first time they had done anything like that,' said Gráinne who's family all came along to support the children on the day. The family were fans of the show, and they saw it as a great opportunity to encourage the children to speak more Irish at home. The children explained that their granny in particular was a great fan of the show, and they wanted to do her proud. Gráinne Farrell said her children get on well together but when they are 'Together playing music, that's what they do best'. She added that there was 'Great excitement' on the day as the children experienced something new, being more at home playing their music at the Loch Garmain Arms or busking on the streets of Gorey. The Farrell family have lived in Gorey for over 20 years, and they said that the children did everybody proud. The Farrell's take to the stage again on May 26 for the Wexford County Fleadh which they are now in preparation for.

Gorey Guardian

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