A TEENAGER who penned a heartfelt musical tribute to a young hurler who passed away in June has been named the winner of Limerick’s Got Talent 2012.
Lisa Finn from Tankardstown, Kilmallock wrote the winning song ‘This isn’t goodbye’ days after she attended the funeral of 13-year-old James Long who died after suffering an asthma attack following a hurling match in late June.
According to Lisa, the popular young sports star was watching over her at the final of the talent competition in Punch’s Hotel in Limerick city on Friday night.
“I wrote the song for James. I’m best friends with his sister Sarah. I was really close to him. He was a pure hero, he was brilliant,” smiled the 16-year-old who blew the judges away with her performance of the poignant song which she had not sung in public prior to the competition.
The performance, she admitted, was “emotional” particularly for Sarah who was present when Lisa first sung the song at her heat on Wednesday night.
“No one had heard it until that night. I only told Sarah the night before,” she explained.
While Sarah couldn’t make the final on Friday night, she watched it on-line from her home surrounded by her family.
Lisa’s family, including her parents Peter and Patricia, and her eight-year-old sister, Aine, were all present and were amongst the first to congratulate her on stage after her big win.
The fifth-year student of Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock beat off stiff competition from 17 other finalists to take the coveted title. The chatty teen was left speechless when her name was called out.
“They gave out a little trophy to everyone who took part and I was saying ‘thank God I’m not going home empty handed’, not expecting to win at all, so when they called out my name it was crazy. My mouth was open I didn’t know what was going on.
“People were taking pictures and running around the place. The whole family came up onto the stage to congratulate me,” she smiled.
While she may only be 16 years old, Lisa is already quite an accomplished songwriter. She penned a song when Kilmallock won the hurling County Final in 2010 and also penned a song for a young local girl Sophie Mulcahy who has a rare illness.
Where her talent comes from is somewhat of a mystery however.
“We have no idea where it came from. There is a lot of controversy because none of them [her immediate family] can properly sing,” she smiled.
The only person who can really hold a note in the family, aside from Lisa, is her grandfather on her father’s side, Frankie Finn.
“He sings all right, he is well able,” added the singer who plays the guitar and keyboard and hopes to study music when she finishes school.
To kick-start her career, Lisa was presented with €500 as part of her prize and she also gets to make her own music video.