NIALL O’Halloran, born and raised in Limerick city and now living in Parteen, is the hot favourite with the bookies to win The Voice of Ireland.
There is plenty of local interest in the big entertainment show, which airs on RTE television every Sunday night.
Paddy Power bookmakers have made Niall clear favourite at 11/4, even though there are more than 50 acts left in the popular television show.
Niall, who attended Ardscoil Ris in the city, got a wildcard entry through RTE 2FM’s judges who deemed him worthy of a shot at wooing the celebrity singing judges on the show.
Niall really impressed all four judges at the blind auditions, with all wanting to sign him up. He opted for Una Foden, singer with The Saturdays.
After studying journalism for a year in Dublin Niall was accepted into Bull Alley Theatre Training Company where he spent two years developing his acting skills.
He was then employed by a touring theatre company and began touring around Ireland in a cabaret show. He is currently commuting from Ireland to England where he is auditioning and working.
Another of the favourites with the bookies is Laura Enright from Glin, at 8/1. She has been joined by Evan Cotter (25/1) from Garryowen in Limerick city; and Stuart Bond (50/1) from Murroe.
Laura is a student from NUIG and has plenty of support. She has been featuring strongly on You Tube.
Twenty-year-old Evan Cotter is a big fan of traditional Irish music and has Christy Moore and Luke Kelly as among his favourite artists. Evan impressed judges with the Christy Moore classic, St Brendan’s Voyage and joined Una Foden’s team.
Another local singer is Stuart Bond from Murroe, a 37-year-old full time musician. Judges Cian, Una and Rachel all wanted him on their teams, but he went for Kian.
Although he is the biggest price of the Limerick contestants, many in the Murroe area reckon the talented singer is the value bet – and could prove a surprise winner.
Niall, Stuart and Laura will all perform in the Battle stages on March 1, while Evan will perform at that stage on March 15.
Contestants will Battle against each other in to finally take to the live stage in Dublin’s Helix for a chance to win a recording contract with Universal.