Galway tenor answering Ireland’s call

Frank Naughton performing for the local community on St Patrick's Day. PIC: Gerry Carr.

Frank Naughton performing for the local community on St Patrick's Day. PIC: Gerry Carr.

In a time when the collective is asking the individual to give his all for the community, a Galway tenor took to the streets outside his home on St Patrick’s Day and performed a 30 minute set to raise the spirits of his neighbours during the lockdown.

Nationally renowned tenor, Frank Naughton, who lives in Knocknacarra, sang various classics such as ‘Danny Boy’, ‘The West’s Awake’, and ‘Ireland’s Call’ for the local community.

Mr Naughton said he hoped the concert injected a little joy into people’s day in the area as the country experiences a nationwide lockdown.

He said;” I’m as afraid as everyone else is [of Covid-19]. One thing it has robbed us of is our normality and a lot of people are taking it very seriously as we should [but] I just wanted to bring a little piece of joy into people’s lives.

“The concert wasn’t something I planned for St Patrick’s Day but as a classical tenor who performs all over the country, I have all the equipment needed to put on a show. I made a small video at 7am and it posted it [to social media] at 10.30am that I would be doing this. The weather updates suggested it was going to be terrible all day so I decided that at 12 [noon] I was going to do it then no matter what, so I tied umbrellas to my equipment and went for it.”

Footage of the show which can viewed be on the Galway Advertiser‘s Facebook page, has amassed more than 120,000 views at the time of writing and resulted in the Galway man receiving messages from all over the world.

He says; “I have received messages from New Zealand, Jamaica, Switzerland, California, and New York [about the video], it is mind blowing. The video has really taken off.”

Mr Naugthon, who is one of half of Duo Vocis (the other being Seán Costello ), says his repertoire was intended to get people to participate and sing along and bring a sense of togetherness in a time when we have been asked to stay apart.

“I chose songs people would know the lyrics to like ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘The West’s Awake’. ‘Ireland’s Call’ got a wonderful reaction with everyone belting out the words. That song means a lot to me and I selected over ‘Amhrán na bhFiann’ because this virus knows no borders. It doesn’t care about politics or your religion. We are all on this island together. We’re all Irish.

“I have to say I found it hard to hold my emotions back [singing it] because I am worried about my family and myself. I have a son working as a doctor in ICU [intensive care unit] in Norfolk, England and I am beside myself with worry. Our medical people are incredible people.

“We all have to work together because we are all in the same boat. Be it talking to people online or delivering supplies to our elderly friends and neighbours’ doors, we all have to do our little part.”


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