Late Late night for two Limerick acts as Toy Show performances beckon

Donal O’Regan and Maria Flannery


Donal O’Regan and Maria Flannery

LIMERICK’S Got Talent as two county acts have been picked from thousands of applications to appear on this Friday’s Late Late Toy Show.

Lee Kirsh, aged 9, from Pallasgreen will be dancing, while siblings Cathal and Nessa Markham, aged 10 and 12, will be singing on the most watched programme of the year. Average audience figures top over one million every year.

Remarkably, it is the second year in a row that Pallasgreen, Nicker National School and dance teacher Pat O’Dea have had a performer join Ryan Tubridy on stage. Karen Franklin, principal, Lee’s fourth class teacher Siobhan English and all the pupils couldn’t be prouder.

Last year, the Murphy Ryan brothers brought the house down and Lee is set to do the same.

“I’m really excited. I literally didn’t sleep last night. I’m getting great support from my classmates. I watch The Late Late Toy Show every single year. It is going to be quite different to be on it!” said Lee.

Mum and dad, Christina and Douglas will be cheering him on in Donnybrook.

“He loves dancing. I need a new set of ear plugs!” jokes Christina.

“He works very hard at it but it is not work to him because he enjoys it so much.  We can’t say too much about what he will be doing as they want to keep it a surprise. Everybody will have to watch on the night to see,” she continues.

As well as dancing, Lee keeps his parents on their toes as he also enjoys hurling, football, soccer, plays music and won a silver medal at the Community Games for model making.

Christina says he is taking it all in his stride.

“He was put forward by his aunty. He was up in Dublin last week and this week and then he has the final rehearsal before the show. When they rang to invite him on, Lee wasn’t here at the time. When I told him he was speechless. He said, ‘Really mum, really, are you sure?’.  He is over the moon. He loves the whole experience,” said Christina. 

Also heading from Limerick are Ballingarry sister and brother, Nessa and Cathal Markham, Ballingarry. The two musicians have been rehearsing for weeks for their big number on the Toy Show.

Studying music under the tutelage of the experts at Croagh School of Music, they are buzzing with excitement. Although their exact performance is under wraps, Aoife and Shane’s children are talented singers and musicians. 

“We are very proud of them,” said Marion Giltenane of Croagh School of Music. “They are the first from the school to perform on the Toy Show, and we’re all looking forward to tuning in on Friday.”

Although their exact performance is under wraps, the children are talented singers, accompanied by Cathal on guitar. They live at home with their mam, Aoife, and dad, Shane.

Aoife explained how the adventure started - a recording of the two of them; sweet sounds of Nessa singing and Cathal singing and strumming along.

The next stage was an audition in Galway in October.

“They were all excited, they were interviewed by Ryan Tubridy on the day and they got selfies with Ryan, so they had a ball. We’ve been up in Dublin now for the last three Sundays for rehearsals,” said Aoife.

Nessa, in sixth class, and Cathal, in fourth class at Ballingarry NS, could hardly contain their excitement this week.

But are they nervous at all? “No!” they exclaim in unison. Nessa is already a dab hand at TV, having recently appeared on TG4’s Junior Eurovision show. They have each been playing music since they were five years old. Nessa also plays the flute, while Cathal is loyal to the guitar and tin whistle. Both are stellar singers.