Padraig Howley, 67 from Co Clare, has become an unlikely Instagram superstar in less than a week thanks to his wholesome posts chronicling his journey to get fit, all while sharing a few tunes.

Howley's bio on Instagram @sing_andstep_withpadraig is simple: "On a journey to get fit and sing a few songs along the way. Daily goal of 10,000 steps. Attempting to go vegan for 21 days. Staying positive."

You don't have to look too hard on Instagram to find a user who is sharing their fitness journey for all to see, but few, if any, are Irish men in their late 60s living in the West of Ireland.

And you'd be hard-pressed to find one as endearing as Howley.

In his first-ever Instagram post, Howley wrote: “My name is Padraig I’m 67 and I’m on a journey to get fit. I am attempting to go vegan for 21 days starting tomorrow, February 22nd. 

“I met Dave and Stephen Flynn from @thehappypear for a sunrise swim with @snamhaisasta and I never thought I’d ever say I would go vegan. But with advice from doctors and health professionals, I need to make a few changes. So here I am. 

“I hope you can follow this page and maybe I can help to motivate someone else. I am new to Instagram and am a very slow typer so my daughter [professional Irish musician Tara Howley] is typing this for me now, I’ll get learning and ‘blogging’ soon.”

The following day, Howley shared a video of him from his kitchen in Kilfenora, Co Clare. The post’s caption said, “thank you for 100 followers," which has exploded to more than 14.8k followers in just two days.

In his first video, Howley says: “I’m just going to have a beautiful bowl of soup - and I have a leek and a potato and an onion. I haven’t tasted it yet, but I hope it’s going to be lovely.

“I know it’s too late now, I shouldn’t be eating after 7 o’clock, I have been advised not to eat after 7 o’clock, and I’ve also been advised that I have to change my lifestyle.

“I’m making a very bad start today. But the reason that I am so late tonight is I had to help out a man who has a lot of cows and the little calves are being born and I had to make pens for the calves, so that’s why I’m so late, but tomorrow, hopefully, I’ll be back on track.

“And thanks very much all of ye for following my page. And hopefully, hopefully, we’ll get on together and you’ll help me and I’ll help ye.”

On February 24, Howley treated his many followers to a few lines of an old Irish song as he attempted to cook Vietnamese coconut and tempeh curry.

“I have no idea in the world what I’m doing now,” Howley admits, undeterred.

“The summer is coming,” Howley says as he stands in front of his stove. “I know we’re in lockdown, but the summer is coming!” Howley’s version of “Wild Mountain Thyme” begins to play as he walks his followers through the recipe’s steps.

In his latest post on February 25, Howley writes that he “can’t believe” he has reached 10,000 followers and that he is “overwhelmed with the support from everyone. I am very grateful.”

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