BY SEÁN P. FEENY
ON Wednesday night, January 9, a young singing talent from South West Donegal hits our television screens in a bid to become Ireland’s next big thing in Country music.
Gráinne Gavigan is proof of the growing popularity of Country music amongst young people around the country, especially in Donegal. The 18-year-old Ardara singer is the youngest contestant in this year’s series of Glór Tíre on TG4.
The daughter of Hugh and Eileen Gavigan is the only contestant from the North West of Ireland and will be mentored by none other than Lisa McHugh.
Eileen couldn’t have a better mentor than the Donegal News’ own former Country Girl columnist.
Lisa herself reached the 2009 final of competition and has since enjoyed a hugely successful career.
The young singer is one of nine contestants who will be mentored by established Country artists throughout the annual televised competition on TG4 produced by Gael Media.
It was, in fact, Lisa McHugh who invited Gráinne to take part in the show. “I’ve known Lisa for years and we have become great friends.
“I couldn’t ask for a better mentor, Lisa has been there, reaching the final herself, she’s young and very successful in her career as a Country singer.”
A former pupil of Gortnacart National School, Ardara and St Columba’s Comprehensive School, Glenties, Gráinne is now a first year student at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) where she is studying health and social care.
Music has always been a huge part of her life. Gráinne has competed in the Ulster Fleadh Cheoil winning medals for singing in both English and Irish, and also holds a Grade 8 qualification in musical theatre.
While some mightn’t associate Country music with 18-year-old girls, it has always been a huge passion of Gráinne’s, watching her brothers Declan and Brendan performing or going to dances and shows with her parents Hugh and Eileen from a young age.
Gráinne has really enjoyed the Glór Tire experience so far from the week-long recording at the Quays Bar in Galway City to the camera crews coming to visit her in Ardara.
“The crew came to my home in Ardara which was great fun, I don’t want to give too much away,” she laughed, “We then travelled to Harvey’s Point where they filmed me meeting with my mentor Lisa for the first time,” said Gráinne.
This year’s Glór Tíre series will start on Wednesday night, January 9, at 10.30pm on TG4 and will run every Wednesday night with the winner being announced on April 17.
Gráinne will first appear on Wednesday night when all the contestant are introduced and sing a song and then her main show with Lisa will be broadcast on March 6.
Gráinne is very excited about taking part in this years competition.
“I am really looking forward to the next few months ahead. I’ll be appearing with Lisa at some of her gigs, when she is in the area, and we will also sing our duet, The Rose, at the Highland Radio Concert on January 21,” said Gráinne.
Gráinne will be depending on the public for their support and will be very grateful for all your votes. To vote from the Republic of Ireland, you can call 1513 415 108 or text ‘GLOR8’ to 53307.
For those voting from Northern Ireland, you can call 0901 6566 108 or text ‘GLOR8’ to 81108. Voting Lines will not open until after the first episode on Wednesday. You can also follow Gráinne’s progress Facebook.
The Loughros More Bay SAC Conservation Group has contacted local Councillors and TDs about the proposed development.