Mary Byrne and tenor Des Willoughby for Castlebar show

Mary Byrne, the Tesco supermarket checkout woman who shot to fame on the X Factor is to play an intimate concert in the Ruby Room at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, on Saturday, December 27, at 8 pm.

She is joining forces with tenor Des Willoughby for the special concert.

Ms Byrne’s rise to fame story is the stuff of fairytales. In 2010, at the age of 50, Byrne set out to follow her dreams by swapping her checkout seat for a live audition in front of the X Factor judging panel.

Although she was pipped for a place in the final, going out in the semi-final instead, Mary won the hearts of millions with her big, warm personality and powerhouse voice.

After being mentored on the show by Louis Walsh, she went on to perform for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on her historic State visit to Ireland in 2011, and shared the stage with Neil Diamond, performing for more than 55,000 fans at Dublin's Aviva Stadium.

She has just scored a top 10 hit with her new album Magic of the Musicals.

Des Willoughby is regarded as having one of the best tenor voices in the country and is making a big impression on the national and international music scene.

He has toured extensively in Ireland, the UK and the United States as a soloist, as a member of the Three Irish Tenors, and, more recently, with his five brothers as The Willoughby Brothers.

Croke Park has provided the stage for some of the highlights of his career to date and he has sung the National Anthem at a number of All-Ireland finals in front of audiences of 82,000.

Tickets for the upcoming Castlebar concert (doors open at 7 pm ) are €22.90, including booking fee and are available from the Royal Theatre Box Office. Telephone (094 ) 90 23111 or 0818 300000. Tickets are also available from all Ticketmaster outlets and at


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