First Irish travelers to sing at Carnegie Hall – see video

Two Irish women will make history today in New York City. They will be the first Traveler women to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Yet again it was a case of YouTube propelling Selina O’Leary and Liz Connors into stardom as a past performance by O’Leary was posted on the online video site.

As part of the University of Limerick concert, “Discovering Abilities”, the two women will sing alongside two traditional musicians.

The two women are said to be thrilled to be the first Travelers to perform.

“We believe Selina and Liz are inspirations ambassadors for their community…we cannot overestimate the value of their involvement in this concert for all travelers in a way which will enhance and contribute to their shared pride and no doubt help to build confidence in their traveler identity" said Damien Peelo, director of the Irish Traveler Movement.

Connors said “I’ve been singing all my life. I’ve sang to the birds and the bees and the dogs and the cats.

“I’ve achieved a childhood dream to sing in Carnegie Hall, and if I was never to go anywhere else, I have achieved what I want in my life. Besides my four children, this is the best thing to have ever happened to me. Singing is my life and it’s what I want to do with my life.

O’Leary (19) sees this as the chance of a lifetime. Though they are both nervous about taking to the stage they hope that can get through their performance as naturally as possible.

“I have my songs and I have my clothes and I know there are going to be cameras and the likes, but all I can do is go out and do my best,” said O’Leary.

“I hope to come away from this having sang perfectly, and for people to say that it was really, really good. I know I’m not going to become famous in America after it, but I’d love to come home knowing that people thought I was a nice person and that they’d love to hear me again. And I want to make everyone proud.”

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