Press Release via AS Written, October 2021


As ‘live’ music continues to make a long-awaited comeback, fans in the midlands are looking forward to welcoming country music star ALEX ROE back to the stage for this year’s CANAL QUARTER FESTIVAL on THURSDAY, October 21st. 

          The festival, organised by Hugh Lynch’s Bar in Tullamore, returns for the first time since 2019, and will see Clara’s country star Roe get the whole event underway before the legendary WOLFE TONES take to the stage later that evening. For Roe, the chance to return to the Canal Quarter Festival – essentially a hometown gig of sorts, given that he lives in nearby Clara – is one of the moments that helped him get through the difficult and often monotonous days of ‘lockdown’…

        “Playing the Canal Quarter back in 2019, before the world went mad there for a while, that’s still one of the best memories of my career so far. It’s right up there with getting to the final of Glór Tíre and winning my first Hot Country award. I absolutely love being on stage anyway, and having an audience to play to, but when it’s a festival like this, that takes everything up another level as far as enjoying it goes. It’s just something else altogether. And that was before everything that’s happened since March of 2020. That’s how much it meant to me then, before we all realised that music – that doing what we love – could actually be taken away from us. So come Thursday night when I get a chance, at last, to finally do it again…it’s going to be amazing.” 

“All over the lockdowns”, confessed Alex, “when none of us knew if we were coming or going, or when we might be able to feel like life was normal again, I’d often think back to nights like the Canal Quarter Festival and I swear, just remembering that kind of buzz would bring a smile back to my face. So I’m really delighted that Emmet asked me to come back and be part of things again this year.”

          Alex continued, “Emmet and his team put on such a great event anyway, but this year is going to be extra special. It’s a moment that we’ve all been waiting for, to be able to do something like this again. It’s not just about someone like me as a performer. It’s about Emmet and people who put on these festivals and make them possible. It’s about the guys who’ll be setting up the stage. It’s about the people who are running sound and lights. And, of course, it’s about the fans who come along to take it all in, and who provide every event with its atmosphere, ya know. We’ve ALL been waiting for a chance to do this again. And I can’t wait to be back in the middle of it all. It’s going to be a very special night, and a very special weekend all round, I think.” 

~ ALEX ROE performs at the CANAL QUARTER FESTIVAL on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21st. For more info on the full festival line-up and tickets, check out You can follow Alex at Alex Roe Music on Facebook. 




Press Release via AS Written, October 2021


Most of us have spent the last nineteen months or so wishing for some way to transport ourselves back in time, back to before masks were a must-have when leaving home, and before things like social-distancing had to be factored into all of our plans. Most of all – especially for all of us who live and breathe music in so many ways – we just wanted to have music back in our lives again. That feeling of longing, of nostalgia, of better days left behind us, is what BACK IN ’68, the brand new single from DONIE O is all about. 

Written by his fellow Tipp man, the late John O’ Connell, BACK IN ’68 – in normal times – would have a touch of lonesome hidden in its grooves anyway, name-checking as it does, so many of those venues of lore and legend nationwide where an incalculable number of hearts first danced their way into range of Cupid’s bow. Back in 1968, however, none who graced floors such as that of the Emerald in Ballinasloe, the Majestic in Mallow, the Astor in Castleisland, Dundalk’s Adelphi, the Sound of Music in Glenamaddy, or – one well-known to Donie O himself – the Premier in Thurles, would ever have believed the kind of world we’d have in our rear-view mirrors come 2021. But here we are…

And where we are, is on the move again! Slowly but surely, we can finally hear the music begin to lift us once more. And that’s where the magic lies in Donie O’s recording of BACK IN ’68. For those who can still feel the glow of those golden 20th century days and nights, this song is like running into an old friend after too long apart, something we can all relate to now. But at the same time, for those whose memories have travelled a shorter stretch of road, but for whom the last nineteen months will certainly never be forgotten, the emotions at the heart of this record are theirs too. 
This is a song to remind the listener – every listener, especially now – that life must be lived forward. Yes, we can remember, and yes, we should remember. We are, after all, every moment we have lived. But let us remember this too: we’re not done living yet! 

While Donie O’s vocal, perhaps his most passionate yet, will call to mind the likes of the Las Vegas in Templemore, the Carlton in Kilkenny, the Atlantic in Tramore, or maybe the Crystal in Dublin, its message is not that our memories are all we have. Far from it. No, its message now, in 2021, is that we still have so many memories yet to make, so that come tomorrows yet unseen, we’ll have more songs like BACK IN ’68, reminding us that while we might glance back every now and then, we live moving forward. And we keep smiling, and we keep dancing as we go…because after all…

Wasn’t it great in ’68/ To have been around back then…” 

And it was. But as Donie O reminds us, “The best is always yet to come.”

BACK IN ’68, the brand NEW single from DONIE O is now available to request from radio stations nationwide, and will be general-release on all platforms from FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29th. For info on pre-adding/pre-saving his new single, follow Donie O on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @donieomusic, and at 


Outdoor Country Music Festival


Press Release via AS Written, October 2021


September’s Outdoor Country Music concert which featured a line-up of Irish country’s star-names at DON’S BAR in Moate, has raised an incredible  €11,382.36 for the KEVIN BELL REPATRIATION TRUST (KBRT). The presentation of the cheque took place recently with some of the event organisers – Aidan Higgins, Dolores Burke, and Tom Duffy – meeting with the late Kevin Bell’s parents, Colin and Eithne. 

The concert took place on September 12th last, featuring performances from TR Dallas, Larissa Tormey, Olivia Douglas, Alex Roe, John Molloy, Shane Moore, and David Mills, and the iconic Seamus Moore. It came in response to tragedies suffered by three midland families – the Duffys, Higgins, and Burkes – each of whom had their own heartbreaking reasons to be thankful for the service provided by the KBRT earlier this year, as Tom Duffy explained in the run-up to the concert…   


My first cousin, Michael Burke, who lived on the Clara Road (out of Moate), died unexpectedly in Liverpool on February 17th this year. And by an untimely coincidence, that was the same day that his aunt Carmel, my own mother, was buried. To make matters even worse, though, that came just five weeks after Carmel’s brother Sean, who was Michael’s father, also died suddenly at his home on the Clara Road, on January 11th. As well as dealing with the shock of a wholly unexpected double-blow, the Burke family were faced with having to pay for two funerals in little over a month. Having heard about the KBRT, I contacted them and it was Colin Bell who answered the phone himself.”

The KBRT is named in memory of Colin Bell’s son, Kevin, a GAA player from Newry who was only twenty-six years old when he was killed in a hit-and-run traffic incident in New York in June 2013. Colin, and Kevin’s mother, Eithne, were not only faced with the horror of hearing that one of their twin boys had been mown down and left for dead, but they were also faced with the logistical nightmare of trying to organise the return of their beloved son’s body to Ireland, and the huge expense involved in making that happen. Overwhelmed by the generosity of their local community which raised an amount far greater than Kevin’s repatriation cost, Colin and Eithne founded the Trust in memory of Kevin, using the surplus monies there was to get the KBRT up and running. The aim of the KBRT is to support other families who suffer the hurt and hardships of losing a loved one abroad unexpectedly.      


Since its formation in 2013, the KBRT has repatriated 876 loved ones to their families in Ireland, from countries as far away as Australia, Argentina, the United States, South Korea, Canada, Ecuador, Cambodia, India, and Uganda, as well as Britain.     


For the fantastic work of the KBRT to continue”, observed Mr. Duffy, “it depends on the goodwill of those who have received the help of the KBRT to put something back in the kitty. That’s why some of us got together to organise the festival at Don’s Bar.”

Mr Duffy continued, sharing the story of how help from the KBRT had been forthcoming as soon as contact was first made.

“On hearing how this tragic series of events had unfolded, Colin Bell immediately offered the assistance of the KBRT to help get Michael Burke’s remains home. From then on Colin undertook the task of organising Michael’s repatriation, with the very much hands-on help of Aidan Higgins, Michael’s uncle, here at home in Ireland. I have to say, Colin Bell was true to his word in every way, and Michael’s remains were returned a fortnight later, about the normal timescale for the arranging of a funeral in Britain. The Burke, Higgins and Duffy families here in Moate and Tubber, were so grateful to the KBRT, and everyone was delighted to be able to do this for them. And of course, we couldn’t have done it without all of the artists who performed on the day, and everyone who bought tickets and came along to enjoy the music. So we’re very, very thankful to everyone who played their part in helping such a worthy cause.”


Photo Attached (L-R)Aidan Higgins, Eithne Bell, Dolores Burke, Colin Bell, Tom Duffy

Larissa Tormey


Press Release via AS Written, October 2021


Fans of LARISSA TORMEY are in for a double-delight later this month with the news that the singer/songwriter will be releasing not one, but two brand new dvds. 

The video collections – THANK GOD I’M A COUNTRY GIRL, and BREATH OF FRESH AIR – will be available from Monday, OCTOBER 18th, released through the Tyrone based MUSIC CITY record label. And for Larissa, teaming up with Terry Corrigan and his team is something that she’s definitely looking forward to…

“Most artists are independent these days, to a large extent, and with only a few exceptions, such as the very biggest names. So one of the biggest challenges  for any artist is to find people who you can work with – and work well with – in different areas of your career. That’s the trick to building up the kind of team you need to have around you when you’re not actually signed to a major label. So for me, to be working with Terry again on this double-DVD project is fantastic.” 

Larissa continued, “I’m delighted to be able to offer these two video collections to my fans. With the long evenings settling in now, hopefully people will enjoy watching them and enjoying my music. And because I’m working with Terry and Music City, I know that distribution is going to be well taken care of, as it always is with Terry.”

Speaking about their new collaboration, Mr. Corrigan of Music City said, “We’ve been promoting country and Irish stars for over twenty years, and we’re delighted to partner with Larissa in the promotion and distribution of her new video collections, and indeed, on her last three albums as well. Fans should watch out for all of Larissa’s merchandise from their local music suppliers and stockists, and of course, they can order directly from our website at, and Larissa’s own website, too.” 

If anyone thought that Larissa, who has already enjoyed a busy and successful 2021, even in spite of the well-documented challenges faced by the music industry, might decide to wind down her year with this double-DVD release, well, they’d be wrong. Larissa, whose latest single Crowded Places (from Larissa’s own songbook) is already heading towards five figures in Spotify streams, has hinted that her biggest news of the year might, in fact, be yet to come…

“I’m very grateful to have enjoyed a really good year musically, and that’s what has made dealing with everything else – all of the uncertainty in the music world – easier to cope with. So I want to end this year in a special way. For one thing, to say to everyone, yes…we made it through! But also to remember those who we might have lost along the way, like our neighbour Tom [Lynam], who was the brilliant star of the video for my song, Old Fashioned, but sadly passed away not long after. And as well, I think now is a time when we all need to look ahead too, and remind ourselves that we still have many bright times to come, and many better days and nights to celebrate. So, I’m working on something that I’m excited about, and I’m looking forward to being able to share more about it very soon!” 

THANK GOD I’M A COUNTRY GIRL, and BREATH OF FRESH AIR, the brand NEW video collections from LARISSA TORMEY, are released via Music City on Monday, October 18th (and available direct from and 


Emma Donohue


Press Release via AS Written, October 2021


After what felt like the longest wait imaginable, GLÓR TÍRE 2021 winner EMMA DONOHUE finally made it back on stage recently, opening for her MIKE DENVER, her mentor on the long-running TG4 show, at his concert in The Well, Moate. 

Remarkably, since being crowned champion back in April, the student nurse from Ballinasloe has been patiently waiting for a chance to sing in front of a ‘live’ audience again. But, with the music world slowly emerging from eighteen months of unexpected and unprecedented silence, Emma’s moment to shine finally arrived when she was invited to get the evening’s entertainment underway at The Well. 

And while the Love Me Tonight singer admitted to feeling nervous in the run-up to the big-night, her overwhelming emotions were those of excitement and gratitude…

“I knew it was only natural to feel a bit nervous having not been in front of an audience in so long, so I didn’t worry too much about that, to be honest. I knew that as the hours ticked on towards show-time all of that nervous energy would turn itself into adrenaline instead. And when that starts to happen, it’s the excitement of doing what you love that starts to kick-in. Because I was opening for Mike, though, and because Mike and his manager Willie Carty have been so good to me, I just wanted to make sure I did my best and didn’t let anyone down or disappoint anyone, that was the most important thing for me. That, and making sure I got people out on the dancefloor! [Laughs].” 

With fans making the journey from her native Galway, as well as from Wexford, Offaly, Laois, and even from as far away as Donegal, one thing Emma didn’t need to worry about letting anyone there. They came in their droves to help her celebrate her first time on stage as Glór Tire’s champion of 2021…and to dance! 

Posting on her social media platforms the day after the gig, Emma wrote, “What a night! My very first gig since winning Glór Tíre. Thanks to all my friends and family that showed up to The Well in Moate last night. It was definitely a night to remember. Thanks to Mike and Wille for inviting me to be a part of the night with them, and to Declan and Brian [Manton] for the amazing venue and hospitality as always. Hopefully there’s many more gigs to come. I’m delighted everyone enjoyed the night. I’m still on cloud-nine.” 

Emma, who is one of the featured artists in the Ones-To-Watch section of the latest edition of RSVP Country, has also been back in the studio recently, putting the finishing touches to her brand new single. 

“Like everything else these days, it’s taken a little bit longer to plan, and then to get it to where we want it to be. But we’re very close to all wrapped up on it now, thank God! So it won’t be too long before we can announce all the details on that. And again, no more than with actually performing, my last single was back during Glór Tíre as well, my version of Isla Grant’s ‘Love Me Tonight.’ The wait has been longer than I wanted, but I love the song I’ve chosen, and I’m really happy with it. So, the next step now is to get it out there and hopefully get to see and hear fans enjoying it. And then, of course, to get back out on the road and get playing it ‘live.’ Keep an eye on my socials, there’ll be more news on this announced there soon.” 

~ You can follow Emma on Facebook and Instagram at Emma Donohue Music, and via her official website,