Father Ray Kelly, Ireland’s priest singing sensation, paid tribute to his late sister when he performed in Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals on Friday night.
His younger sister Regina McMahon was 59 when she passed away from esophageal cancer two years ago, leaving behind a husband, four children, and nine grandchildren.
Fr Ray, 65, and his sister were close growing up in Tyrrelstown, Co Meath. Regina was delighted when her brother became a singing sensation after of video of him singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah at a wedding went viral.
Regina was on Fr Ray’s mind when he performed Vince Gill's spiritual song 'Go Rest High on That Mountain 'before a live audience at the Britain’s Got Talent semi finals. He had said earlier that the song had helped him cope with his sister's death.
He told the The Irish Sun: “We were the two youngest growing up so losing Regina was a terrible loss, especially as she left behind a young family.
“As a priest I am used to comforting people but that doesn’t make it any easier when death comes to your own front door.”
Unfortunately, Fr Kelly did not advance to the finals. Before the show, Ireland’s singing priest said: “It would be nice to get a record deal from this but I would have to make the final for that to happen. But if nothing happens out of this that’s fine too.
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“I am not going to beat myself up over it. It’s been a great journey since my first audition last January. I’m open to what happens, a few more concerts and charity gigs.”