BY SEÁN P. FEENY
THIS weekend a talented singer from Downings will hope to become the second Donegal entrant to make it through to the live stages of this year’s The Voice Of Ireland on RTÉ.
On Sunday night it’s Shane McLaughlin’s turn to take to the “battle” stage of the talent competition and follow in the footsteps of Roisin Carlin from Fahan to make it through.
The 28-year-old was chosen by mentor, Kian Egan, after performing the Frames song Fake in what was the most viewed episode of The Voice ever with 729, 000 tuning in in mid January.
Shane is well-known in Donegal music circles as the lead singer of the band Red Light Inferno.
The Downings man admitted it was a last minute decision for him to apply for The Voice.
“As I was in a band I never thought of auditioning for shows like this, but with some of the lads emigrating to Canada and the band parting ways I decided to go for it.”
Shane and his band Red Light Inferno have come close to success on a number of occasions over the years, but never quite got there.
He decided with the band coming to an end he would give it one last stab and to his relief it paid off when former Westlife star Egan turned his chair to choose Shane.
Being one of four siblings, the son of Denis and Mary McLaughlin has a lot of family support and no doubt everyone in his native Downings will be getting behind him. “There has been a bit of buzz about the area since the show went out last week,” he laughed.
“I’ve been receiving a lot of messages from well-wishers and it’s great to have the support.”
Last weekend the show revealed that Donegal’s third entrant, Mark McLaughlin from Carndonagh, was unable to participate in the battle stages after injuring himself playing rugby.
It had already been an emotional journey for the 38-year-old after he auditioned just days after he had lost his father John Anthony ‘Joe Billy’ at the age of 84.
With his mother Mary there in support Mark gave a winning performance of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ and was chosen by Sharon Corr.
Tune into The Voice Of Ireland this Sunday, 6.30pm, only on RTÉ One.
Bernie McGuigan, (44), is originally from Mountcharles in Donegal. She works in a GP practice in Malahide village.