A SECOND-YEAR student from Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh has been named best overall act in a national talent competition for students in Gaeltacht and all-Irish schools.
Singer-songwriter Sinead Toomey not only placed first in the junior category for solo modern music but beat 600 others on her way to claiming top prize at the Scléip All-Ireland finals at the Axis Theatre in Dublin.
Now the toast of her school at Harry’s Mall, Sinead has been playing guitar and piano for five years.
Until this year’s competition, her compositions all had been in English and her award-winning entry “D’Athraigh Mé” (“I Changed”) was the first song she had ever attempted to write in Irish.
But her music teacher, Naomi Morrissey said the win was anything but beginner’s luck: “Sinéad is a talented and gifted musician and songwriter and we are all thrilled in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh that her talent has been recognised at a national level”.
Principal Donncha Ó Treasaigh said great credit was due to both Sinead and the school staff who had urged her to enter the competition.
“I am also very grateful to all teachers in the college who are involved in motivating and inspiring our pupils in the important area of arts and our pupils are very fortunate to have such dedicated staff such as Ms Naomi Morrissey and Ms Fionnuala Quigley,” he commented.
According to Sinead herself, the song is about friendship and having loved ones to rely upon.
“The song describes how things in life can change to make you a stronger person,” she said.
“I think this competition is a great chance for students from all-Irish backgrounds to bring back an Irish culture in a more modern, popular way.”
Those interested in hearing Sinead’s winning entry can check it out on a podcast on Limerick’s Live 95FM. The finals were also recorded by Raidio na Gaeltachta and sections are to be broadcast this month.