A SUPER talented New Quay family have scooped the top prize on TG4’s Réalta agus Gaolta, fighting off competition from across the country and wowing judges with their unique interpretation of The Cranberries ‘Zombie’.
The Farrell family will receive a €2,000 cash prize following their win and are said to be on Cloud 9 after their success.
Nineteen-year-old Shónagh, who is a student of French and Music at University College Dublin (UCD) and a singer and violinist, was described by her mum Ellie as the “musical director” of the family. “They wouldn’t take any advice at all from myself or Brian,” she laughed. “We were banned from the process! Shónagh would spend lots of time adapting different pieces to suit their style and there results have been fantastic.”
Judges, including Irial Ó Ceallaigh and Sinéad Ní Uallacháin were blown away by the performance of Muintir Farrell across the course of the show, and other performances included a hugely popular version of Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’.
Along with sister Mia (17) on viola and brothers Euan (14) on cello and Noah (10) on violin, Shónagh proved once again that the Banner lives up to its name for musical talent.
The talented quartet, who play under the name ‘Burren Con Brio’ are students with Coole Music and it’s this that Ellie credits with fostering the family’s musical abilities.
“I couldn’t say that the talent comes from myself and Brian,” she admitted. “Brian has a small family-run bus company and years ago he was taking a group who were travelling the Aran Islands. He met Katharina Baker who was talking about setting up a music school. Shónagh would have been a baby at that stage. He told Katharina to get back to him if she ever set the school up. She did and all the kids enrolled with Coole Music and the rest is history!”
The four recently attracted huge praise for their rendition of Aha’s ‘Take on Me’ which they performed for the virtual fundraiser Carpe Diem in memory of the late Eimear Noonan. Shónagh is a winner of an Award of Excellence from Eimear’s bursary fund.
The Farrell family’s winning performance, as well as their other pieces for Réalta agus Gaolta can be viewed on line on TG4.ie.