Sheamie Garrihy. Picture: Andres Poveda LTD.
KILFENORA’S Sheamie Garrihy stole the show and the nation’s hearts when appearing on The Late Late Toy Show.
“Before we begin chatting,” was the now infamous opening line from seven year old Sheamie as he told host Patrick Kielty that they shared one thing in common, “it is both our first Toy Show”.
Eagle-eyed viewers will have recognised the mullet and North Clare charm instantly as Sheamie was of course the winner of The Clare Echo’s inaugural virtual talent show in 2020, a competition set up to lift the spirits of the county during the height of the lockdown implemented by NPHET and the Government during COVID-19.
Sheamie Garrihy has made the nation laugh with his appearance on RTÉ’s The Late Late Toy Show this Friday night.
Back in 2020, the Kilfenora boy was crowned the winner of our inaugural Clare Echo talent show.
— The Clare Echo (@ClareEcho) November 24, 2023
One of the most common questions thrown at Sheamie since appearing on The Toy Show has been ‘how does it feel to be famous’ but he is quick to mention his first brush of the limelight, “I was already famous shur didn’t I win a singing competition with ye in The Clare Echo, how wouldn’t I remember it I was only four like”.
Last August, he applied as one of over 4,000 children to appear on The Toy Show. “I made the cut alright, it went down to 80 and then I had to do an audition in Dublin”. He then made the shortlist of fifteen and unsurprisingly his wit had caught the attention of producers of the RTÉ show.
His family members including his parents Jamie Garrihy who originally hailed from Ennistymon and Caitriona Malone along with sisters Croídha (four) who he labels as “the drama queen” and thirteen month old Éada have been well aware of his humour.
Demands on his time may not have been taken into consideration by the producers. “They sent the lego down in nine sets, I’m only seven like and I’m into the blocks and bricks, my uncle Aidan helped me building it, it came down on a Friday, I don’t know Patrick couldn’t have sent it over the Halloween holidays because I am in school till 3pm They sent down lego for a ten year old and shur I’m only seven so I had to get my uncle and friend Cillian (Blake), he’s twelve from Ennistymon to help me”.
After appearing on Clare FM’s Morning Focus on Monday morning, Sheamie and his mother Caitriona went to Dunnes Stores where “auld wans” were shouting to him across the till asking if he was getting “another lego day off”. He said, “I can’t go anywhere now”.
Young and old have been struck by the Kilfenora character. He explained that while having his breakfast on Saturday morning in Dublin following the Toy Show, “all these young ones were looking to take photographs of me, I could see them walking past with their phones, they were trying to take my photo and I could see them, what are these young ones even doing with phones”.
His first-class teacher Ms Welton did not get a mention on The Toy Show. “My teacher had a big party for me on the Thursday before, I told her I wouldn’t be telling any tales on the TV”.
At school, he is doing well which is impacting on his grandmother’s finances. “My granny Antoinette Reynolds owns the Garden Centre but she’s pure broke because gives me money for my spellings and she’s pure broke now so if anyone wants to get their Christmas stock off her it could give her a hand”.
Sheamie’s stylish mullet has also endeared him to the nation. “I’ve had the mullet all my life,” he confirmed. “I have an Australian hairdresser, her name is Melanie O’Brien from Gruaig Hair Salon, she is an Australian hairdresser so she knows all about the mullet”.
Caitriona told The Clare Echo, “He is reared by so many people, he is not stuck to a screen or always on devices and that is a massive reason he is the way he is. He is not glued to a phone and never has been. Let them be seven years of age, he is happy to be sitting on the ground playing with turtles and he’s not bothered by the attention at all.
“I think it’s fair to say that a child at his age, all they need is time not technology and devices. Just talk to your child without replacing time with technology, that’s the way Sheamie is the way he is”.
She continued, “he is always around older people but he has his own friends too. He has a great relationship with my brothers, my father is big into horses and our house is so busy so he’d be used to meeting older people like Pa Crawford and Tom Keane who he mentioned”.