THE O’DONNELL SIBLINGS from Roslea were the pride of Fermanagh this week after RTE producers discovered their talent for traditional music online.
Aoife (15), twins Ciara and Olivia (12) along with their younger brother Aodhan (10) who are part of the Roslea Comhaltas branch were asked to perform on the set of Réalta agus Gaolta which took place in the RTE studios.
Speaking on their experience, proud mum Roisin told the Herald, “The producers of the programme got in touch with us through Facebook to see if the kids were interested in taking part after they found an online video of them performing together.
“During lockdown they had been practising everyday and thankfully they got this recognition as well as a day out. They’ve never experienced anything like this before.
“When we arrived we had our own pod so contestants weren’t communicating with anyone else, the music was pre-recorded and then they where took out on stage to the presenter and judges of the show due to Covid restrictions.”
The programme which will air on our screens this Autumn featured seven different families from across Ireland and was filmed over the course of seven days.
“The nerves weren’t too bad on the day,” explained Roisin. “They had practised so much leading up to it that nerves only started to kick in when they were mic’d up and called to the stage.
“The day itself was great for their confidence, it’s so different from a session and that was the first time that they had played together.
“Especially for Aodhan who is only ten, he came on so well as result of lockdown and practising, and now he can play with the older girls.
“If one of them was a bit nervous they had the support of each other and really bounced off that. They worked hard for it and it was a nice bonus for them.”
The siblings picked up the music bug in school, and from there attended various music classes before joining the Roslea Comhaltas branch which has over 100 members.
While lockdown has been a difficult time for many young people, Roisin says she is “lucky” that her eldest four had music to keep them occupied.
“It was great to have when there was nothing else,” she said. “The music was a great distraction for them and it was something to focus on over the last year and a half and even better to see that all their hardwork has paid off.
“They do miss getting out and meeting others through the sessions. It’s a very social thing and they can’t wait to get back to that.”
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