East Cork Represented in Final Of Over 60s Talent Competition

By Seamus Whelehan

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Andy Jackson from Ballymacoda will step into the spot light on Sunday 11 June when he takes part in the final of this year’s over 60s talent competition in City Hall.
Andy who is no stranger to the stage said he was looking forward to the final with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.
“I’ve played on stage before but this is my first time in the over 60s. I’m very hopeful, there are 14 contestants and every single one has a good chance. I wouldn’t be in it if I didn’t think I could win.”
Rita O’Keeffe, Callie O’Sullivan, Josie Buckley and Kathleen Woulfe organised the 2017 heat of East Cork Over 60’s in which Mr Jackson was picked as a finalist.
At the heat held in Midleton GAA Pavilion, sponsored by Midleton Credit Union Mr Jackson wowed the judges with his rendition of Old Man River.
This Sunday however Andy will be singing “a brighter easier song” Oh what a beautiful morning as he competes for a top prize of €1,000 and a perpetual trophy.
The Over 60s Talent Show is in its 41st year and is widely recognised as the biggest social event in the senior citizens calendar.
Established in 1977 by Paddy O’Brien to help combat loneliness and isolation among the elderly, its expected over 1200 will attend City Hall this Sunday.
“The City Hall will be packed to the rafters to see armatures put on a professional show.”
“The over 60s is the only event to fill City, Rebecca Storm couldn’t fill it and Katherine Jenkins was only able to three quarters fill it in December. “
“People will be queuing outside City Hall from 6:00pm on Sunday the event is so popular” commented Mr O’Brien.
He said the over 60s show proves it’s never too late to shine.
“We have finalists in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. The oldest finalist is 90 year old Margaret Harrington who is representing a residential home in Cork City. This year we have more areas participating and more people attending, so it just shows it’s as popular as ever.”
There are some tickets remaining for the final, which can be purchased at Pro-Musica and Blackpool Shopping Centre priced at €15 each.
Special guest on the night will be Frank Twomey of Santa Ponza fame.
Since the black tie event started in 1977 the over 60s competition has helped raise over half a million Euro for the Irish Heart Foundation.
East Cork has always featured prominently in the over 60s competition.
Charlie McAllister from Midleton won the competition outright in 2010.
Mr McAllister originally from Dungarvan has been recognised by Paddy O’Brien as one of the finest winners the competition he has ever seen.
Charlie established the CMP Choir over 30 years ago and is still very active in music.
“He doesn’t spare his time sharing his love of music. He regularly visits the Nursing Homes and hospice in Cork” said Paddy.
This year’s event is sponsored by the Evening Echo, Lennox Hearing Specialist and Liam Ryan Super Valu.

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