Ireland boss Andy Farrell wowed by youngster Stevie Mulrooney’s anthem display
By Ed Elliot, PA, Dublin
Singing sensation Stevie Mulrooney was praised by Andy Farrell following his rousing rendition of Ireland’s Call ahead of Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations match with Italy in Dublin.
Eight-year-old Mulrooney went viral thanks to a passionate performance on the pitch in front of almost 52,000 spectators at a sold-out Aviva Stadium.
The schoolboy from Kilkenny sprang to prominence singing the rugby anthem on RTE’s Late Late Toy Show, before being invited to perform at Ireland’s opening home match of the championship by flanker Josh van der Flier.
He had to wait for his moment in the spotlight as Jennifer Dalton performed the Italian anthem and Amhran na bhFiann before stealing the show to catch the eye of Ireland boss Farrell and thousands of television viewers.
“Oh wow. I tell you, I was actually saying before the game, I was just watching him the whole time,” said Farrell, whose side won 36-0.
“I didn’t know whether he was standing with his mother or not but when I realised the other lady (Dalton) was not his mother and was singing the national anthem for the Italians… his confidence was amazing and I actually thought ‘I wish our lads are going to be like that’.
“He’s got his shoulders back, he was ready.
“He was waving to the crowd, stood there on his own. I thought: ‘this kid’s got it all’.
“He was amazing. He nailed it, didn’t he? It was a great start.”