'Amazing' eight-year-old answers Ireland's call

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Taylor Swift's appearance at the Super Bowl may be dominating headlines but it was an eight-year-old Irish boy who stole the show at a sporting event on this side of the Atlantic.

Stevie Mulrooney, from County Kilkenny, sang rugby anthem Ireland's Call at the Aviva Stadium ahead of Ireland's win over Italy on Sunday.

“I loved it, when I got into the song I didn’t feel a little bit nervous,” he told Irish broadcaster RTÉ.

His rendition has sparked a huge response, with Irish head coach Andy Farrell among those wowed by the schoolboy’s performance.

Speaking on RTÉ 's Morning Ireland programme, Stevie said the big crowd of more than 40,000 was "scaring the life" out of him - but that the nerves subsided when he began to sing.

He had practiced five times before Sunday, and just once on the day, he added.

The opportunity came after the young singer came to prominence with a performance of Ireland's Call on RTÉ’s Late Late Toy Show late last year.

Stevie’s dad Seamus said there had been some talk that appearance could lead to an invite to sing at the Aviva, which duly came courtesy of Irish flanker Josh van der Flier.

“So many people helped him out,” Seamus said.

“The band made him feel so at ease – and a special thank you to Jennifer Dalton who sang both national anthems, she kept him calm on the day,” he said.

He’s a “good little lad,” his dad added, saying his family as “so proud” of him.

Ireland rugby coach Andy Farrell said Stevie’s confidence “was amazing”.

“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.'"

As for Stevie, he was delighted not only with Ireland's comprehensive victory but also that he got to meet the teams - including his favourite players, Ireland captain Peter O'Mahony and Bundee Aki.