Athlone band members accompany memorable rendition of Ireland's Call
Members of the Band 2 Brigade Athlone played a part in one of the most talked about renditions of Ireland's Call in the Aviva Stadium yesterday - by eight year old Stevie Mulrooney.
Musicians from the Athlone-based army band along with the Army No 1 Band, accompanied the Kilkenny youngster in a stirring rendition of the rugby anthem before the Ireland versus Italy match in the Six Nations which has since gone viral, even earning praise from head coach Andy Farrell.
The young singer, who first came to prominence on the Late Late Toy Show, belting out Ireland's Call for host Patrick Kielty, was invited to perform in the Aviva on Sunday by flanker Josh van der Flier.
Afterwards, the Band 2 Brigade extended a “big congratulations to the two amazing singers Jennifer Dalton and Stevie Mulrooney, especially Stevie, who gave an unshakeable performance. Well done!”
The young boy had to wait his turn while Jennifer Dalton sang Amhrán na bhFiann and the Italian national anthem prior to taking his big moment. It's fair to say he then stole the show and there was nothing but praise online afterwards from people like TV's Carol Vorderman, the DUP’s Emma Little-Pengelly, the new Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland, and former Ireland rugby star Shane Byrne for his moving rendition before the 36-0 victory.
Head coach Andy Farrell praised the amazing confidence shown by young Stevie, who had met the Irish team the day before the match, including his favourite players Bundee Aki and Peter O'Mahony.
“His confidence was amazing. I actually thought I wish our lads are going to be like this. He's got his shoulders back and he was ready. He was waving to the crowd,” Andy Farrell said of Stevie's performance of the Irish rugby anthem.
“He stood there on his own and I thought this kid's got it all. He was amazing, he nailed it, didn't he?”
Speaking on RTÉ today (Monday) Stevie said he loved the experience despite being a bit scared of performing in front of a sell-out crowd.
He said that the big crowd was "scaring the life" out of him, however, once he got into the song he didn't “feel a little bit nervous”.