A Derry-born musician is to sing Phil Coulter’s ‘Ireland’s Call’ ahead of the Ireland-All Blacks rugby internationals in New Zealand this month.
Sean Kelly, who’s originally from Ballynashallog Gardens, will perform the anthem at tomorrow’s game at Eden Park, Auckland, and, again, on June 23 at Rugby Park in Hamilton.
Sean has been playing Irish music in New Zealand since he arrived there in 1990.
He also sang the anthem back in 2006 when Ireland were defeated by the mighty All Blacks.
However, this time around, he is hoping for an Irish victory.
“With an Ireland win, I would have the bragging rights that I’ve been waiting patiently for since my arrival in New Zealand more than 20 years ago,” he says.
The father-of-two has had several musical highlights during his time in New Zealand, including his debut CD, ‘See The Light’, being a finalist for a music award known as a ‘Tui’.
He also joined The Chieftains on stage during their last tour of “the land of the long white cloud.”
At a gig at Fr Ted’s in Auckland in 2009, during a rendition of The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York”, he was joined on stage by none other than Florence Welch, of Florence and the Machine.
He has also played across New Zealand at huge gigs to celebrate the 2011 Rugby World Cup and, of course, numerous St Patrick’s Day Festivals.
Sean is hoping to get himself and his band, ‘The Celtic Flyers’, back to Derry in 2013 for the first Fleadh Ceoil Na h’Eireann to take place in Northern Ireland. He hopes to generate enough interest in his music to secure a residency in a city centre pub during the Fleadh.
Anyone interested in pursuing this idea with Sean can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.