A new star is born!

Michael O’Brien at home with the Wexford jersey that Davy Fitzgerald presented to him on The Late Late Toy Show. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin
Michael O’Brien at home with the Wexford jersey that Davy Fitzgerald presented to him on The Late Late Toy Show. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin
Michael with his parents, Noreen and Michael; and brother, Martin, as they arrived back to a celebrity’s welcome at Killarney Railway Station on Saturday evening. Photo by Don MacMonagle

Sinead Kelleher

It has been his dream since he was in junior infants, but Killarney's Michael O'Brien finally made it to the Late Late Toy show last Friday night - and he stole the hearts of the nation in the process.

Since his appearance on one of the most-watched TV shows of the year, Michael has been inundated with media requests, but he's taking his newfound fame in his stride.

"It has been enjoyable; there has been a lot of photography, and I was on Radio Kerry for 15 minutes," he said.

He has also been contacted by many of Ireland's famous figures, including Conor McGregor, GAA stars and organisations from across the country.

However, the highlight for Michael (11) was getting to meet his hero Davy Fitzgerald, who manages Wexford's hurlers, and a dream came true - live on air - on Friday night.

"I couldn't believe he was there. He was hiding backstage. I got a real rush when I realised he was there," he said.

The well-known GAA coach has now invited Michael to join him ahead of some future fixtures. No dates have been set yet, but Michael is going to have a full diary for the year ahead.

Key in this is also his first visit to Croke Park at next year's All-Ireland final, courtesy also of the Late Late Toy Show, and he is looking forward to his trip to Dublin.

He said that his experience on the Late Late Toy Show was very exciting.

"You had to walk across the floor and step up to the book department, and you could hear all the audience screaming. I was smiling and talking to the boy beside me," recalls Michael.

Being on the Late Late Toy Show was something that Michael always wanted to do but he had never applied - until now.

Having overcome the audition process, he got the call that he had been chosen, and he made his way to Dublin for the big night.

He prepared for his debut TV appearance with the support of his classmates and teachers at St Oliver's National School in Ballycasheen, where he is now something of a star. His parents, Noreen and Michael, are also "very proud" of Michael and they thanked his teachers, the school and RTÉ for the experience.

A special thanks was issued to his teachers, Ciara O'Sullivan, Olive Horgan and Shirley McGough and Principal Rory d'Arcy for their support.

Kerryman

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