Sheila shines with new single
ONE thing that could definitely be said about Sheila Fitzgerald’s whirlwind pace of life is that it could never be described as boring.
Well known across North Cork as a photographer with The Corkman, Sheila is also no stranger to music fans having travelled the highways and byways of Ireland for many years as a member of the Heart to Heart Band with her partner Mike Sheehan.
The couple are also hugely popular right across the UK where they have toured regularly over the past two decades.
From the Northern Nashville Club in Thurso on Scotland’s North coast, to Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry, taking in the cities of Inverness, Edinburgh, Dundee, and Aberdeen, the duo have built up a strong fan base throughout Scotland.
They are equally well known in England from Liverpool to London with a particular affiliation to the Irish Clubs in Birmingham where they frequently headlined the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, often playing crowds in excess of 2,000.
Sheila and Mike have also entertained audiences in New York and Paris, as well as Lesotho, Swaziland, and Johannesburg in Southern Africa.
With numerous albums to their credit over the years, the duo are familiar voices on radio stations, playing Irish and country music across the world.
Over the past few years they have been seldom out of the limelight with a succession of successful singles gaining them further recognition.
During the commemoration year of 2016, ‘ Tureengarbh Glen’ and ‘O’Connell & Clancy’ proved massively popular for the couple.
Sheila and Mike gave a nod to last year’s festive season with a lively duet ‘ Two Step round the Christmas Tree’, while Sheila’s recent rendition of the old Gospel favourite ‘In the Garden’ again proved hugely popular with radio audiences and those attending live shows.
While ‘In the Garden’ is currently one of the most requested numbers on local radio, Sheila has a brand new single ready to go.
“I was delighted to be asked to record this song on the 100th anniversary of the death of Kerry Patriot Thomas Ashe”, she explained.
“Throughout his life Thomas Ashe was a prolific poet and songwriter and wrote the lyrics for ‘Let Me Carry Your Cross For Ireland Lord’ in 1916 while incarcerated at Lewes Jail in England. He died just a year later on September 25, 1917.”
The North Cork connection with Thomas Ashe is strong - Kiskeam Brass Band named him as their Patron in 1917, and thereafter proudly marched under a large banner displaying a portrait of the deceased patriot.
In addition, during the Civil War Thomas’ brother Gregory was a great friend of the late Jim O’Riordan of Kiskeam, himself a member of Sean Moylan’s Flying Column.
Local fans can catch up with Sheila at the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery on Friday where she will share the stage with Trudi Lalor, the Michael Collins Band, and Joe Cooke at a fundraiser for the Irish Air Ambulance Service.
Sheila and Mike will also play at the Kanturk and Millstreet Hospital’s fundraiser which will be held at the Edel Quinn Hall, Kanturk on Friday, October 13.