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Ballyhar woman goes from horse-breaking to the stage


Karrie O'Sullivan from Ballyhar launches her debut album in Siamsa Tire on September 28.

Karrie O'Sullivan from Ballyhar launches her debut album in Siamsa Tire on September 28.

Karrie O'Sullivan from Ballyhar launches her debut album in Siamsa Tire on September 28.

BALLYHAR singer Karrie O'Sullivan has been through a lot over the past few years.

Having seen her business as a prominent Kerry horse-breaker collapse due to the recession, to opening for her nephew Mick Flannery in front of 400 hundred people it's been some journey.

Karrie also earned popularity as her songs aired on four local radio stations regularly and also on Alf McCarthy's Late Date show on RTÉ. The Kerryman caught up with Karrie to see how things are going for her since she started in the music business, and how it all started.

"Well I wrote my first song ' Stay away' along with a few others, about two years ago and I didn't show it to anyone for a few months. I gave them to my sister Yvonne who sings with Mick Flannery's band and she gave them to Mick who gave them to Chris Ahern in Stiofán Naofa and he told me they were good enough to make an album. It all just went from there," she said.

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However, music wasn't Karrie's first love and, she says, it never will be. "My first love is and always will be, horses. I broke horses for a living but that took a turn for the worse with the recession. But I still keep horses," she said.

Karrie, after deciding one morning, to just leave the horse business and just go with the music was shocked at how fast things progressed: "Before I wrote 'Stay Away' I was still hung up on the breaking business. I then just woke up one morning and said no, I don't want to do this anymore. Then things just exploded. I went from doing 10 open mic nights with Dec O'Shea on guitar, to opening for Mick Flannery in front of 400 people. I was shocked like," she added.

After that her music started spreading on radio stations with John Creedon of RTÉ radio and Martin Howard of Radio Kerry both comparing Karrie to Joni Mitchell.

Karrie is now set to launch her album 'Jelly Legged' with three gigs. One in Cork September 21 in The Pavillion, September 23 in The Odessa Club, Dublin and on September 28 in Siamsa Tire. "I'm most nervous about Tralee as it'll be the home crowd, and Siamsa Tíre is so big, I hope we'll be able to fill it. It's a mixture of nerves and excitement really," Karrie said.

The Tralee gig takes place on September 28 and it is set to be a wonderful night of live music entertainment. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the night at a cost of €9.