Sean Byrnes (13) and Molli-Ann O’Halloran (14), both from the Northside of Limerick will perform in this year’s Late Latw Toy Show Picture Adrian Butler
TWO young performers from Limerick city will showcase their talents on one of the most watched programmes on Irish television this Friday night - the Late Late Toy Show.
An institution since the days of Gay Byrne, the beloved show will feature local singer Molli-Ann O’Halloran (14) and dancer Sean Byrnes (13) entertaining the huge national, and even international, audience that tunes in annually for a night of music, laughs and toys.
Far from being nervous about her appearance on the show Molli-Ann, is looking forward to it having endured a hectic semester in school. Having started out at St Mary’s Secondary School, she transferred to Thomond Community College six weeks into her Junior Certificate year.
“It has really been a struggle, but I can handle it,” she told the Leader. “The Toy Show isn’t really another struggle, it’s a relief because it’s something I get to look forward to,” Molli-Ann added.
She plans to enjoy herself on the show before swotting up for her Christmas exams and what better way than to share the love of singing that she discovered at a young age.
Her talent found a local audience too, thanks to her proud mother Michelle who posted her performances on Facebook, something she admits to finding “mortifying”.
Like most teens, the 14-year-old found the transition from primary to secondary school difficult, and it temporarily put a halt to her singing ambitions.
However, after her mother made contact with singing tutor Ciara Meade, Molli-Ann regained her confidence and love of singing.
Michelle explained: “She had very little self-confidence, but then Ciara Meade absolutely transformed Molli, and allowed her to go into a completely different world.”
Sean Byrnes, meanwhile, an old neighbour of Molli-Ann, will perform at the Toy Show as a dancer.
The 13-year-old has been dancing for three and a half years at the Ambition School of Dance and already has a world championship title, earned in Blackpool, England, under his belt.
”My sister said she’d bring me to dancing while my Mam was away, and when I watched it, I said I wanted to do that, because I really liked it,” Sean recalled.
“My dance teacher Leigh Doran, has a saying: ‘workers are winners’ and I really follow that motto,” he added.
Entering his first year of secondary school at the recently-opened Limerick ETSS, Sean has received massive support from his peers, and from principal of the school, Eoin Shinners.
“They’re all very happy and excited to see me and watch the show. My principal sponsored me and my family for our train trip up to Dublin, that was nice of him,” Sean added.
Catch Molli-Ann and Sean’s performances this Friday, on RTÉ 1 at 9:35pm.
”It’s going to be the best one yet,” Sean promised.