It’s one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the television year for children of all ages – and this Friday’s Late Late Toy Show may also be the biggest night in one young Galway boy’s life.
Thousands of the country’s most talented children dream of showing off their talents on the show, but for David Kennedy, from Eyrecourt, that dream is becoming reality.
David is twelve years old and has been singing most of his life. His angelic voice has caught the attention of the right people and he will be singing ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ on the Toy Show tomorrow night, much to the pride of his family.
“But whether he’s on the Toy Show or not, I’ll always be proud of him,” his father Philip said.
David has always wanted to sing and, along with his two sisters, 15-year-old Evelyn and 13-year-old Juliet, has always been very musical. According to Mr Kennedy, it was David’s mother who brought out the musicians within her children.
“She got cancer in 2006 and always saw music as a sort of therapy, so she got them playing musical instruments,” he explained.
The children started learning the viola when they were young, and their natural talents grew from there.
David, like his sisters, started on the viola, but he always wanted to sing and last year opera singer, Emily Alexander, started to train David, helping him to perfect his already angelic voice, and preparing him for the Ballinasloe CU Factor, in which he came third.
After browsing the internet one day, David saw that the Toy Show was looking for entries.
“So he got himself a DVD and sent it in. They loved it and he went for an audition and they rang me up the following week to say he’d got it. He was absolutely elated. He was really delighted,” Mr Kennedy explained.
“He has something special and I can’t believe the whole country is going to hear it. It’s such a special feeling.”
Read more in today’s Connacht Tribune
Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.
It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.
General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.
She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.
Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.
Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.
Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.
She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.
Galway rowers aim for Olympic gold!
Best of luck to two Galway rowers – Aifric Keogh of Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, and Fiona Murtagh from Gortachalla in Moycullen – who are part of Team Ireland’s Women’s Coxless Fours team who compete in an Olympic final in Tokyo at 1.50am (Irish time) Wednesday.
Coverage on RTÉ 2 television begins from 1am.
Ireland – who were second in their heat after Australia, who set a new Olympic Record – are in lane two, with Great Britain on their outside, and Australia, favourites for a gold medal, in lane three.
The Netherlands, China and Poland are in lanes four, five and six at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Poor weather meant some rowing events were re-scheduled but the Women’s Fours final was not impacted.
Jim Keogh, Aifric’s father, told the Tribune he was hopeful ahead of the final.
“To make the Olympics is tough, to make the final is tough, to make the medal is tougher,” he said.
Photo: Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.
*Full coverage of the race and reaction in this week’s Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune
Paedophile sentenced to a further 17 months in prison
A convicted paedophile, described by a Garda as ‘a prolific child abuser’, has had a 17-month prison sentence added to a 13-year sentence he is already serving for the rape and sexual abuse of children.
Disgraced primary school teacher and summer school bus driver, 69-year-old Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh, a native of Tuirín, Béal a’ Daingin, Conamara, had at all times denied two charges of indecently assaulting a ten-year-old boy at a Gaeltacht summer school in Béal a’ Daingin in 1979.
The offence carries a maximum two-year sentence.
A jury found him guilty by majority verdict following a four-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last month.
At his sentence hearing last week, Detective Paul Duffy described Ó Ceallaigh as a prolific child abuser who had amassed 125 child abuse convictions, committed while he was a primary school teacher in Dublin and while he operated an Irish language summer school in Beal a’ Daingin.
They included convictions for rape and sexual assault for which he is currently serving sentences totalling 13 years.
Those sentences were due to expire in August 2024, but last week, Judge Rory McCabe imposed two, concurrent 17-month sentences on Ó Ceallaigh, before directing the sentences begin at the termination of the sentences he is currently serving.
The judge noted Ó Ceallaigh’s denial and lack of remorse and the lifelong detrimental effect the abuse had on the victim as aggravating factors.