Una Comes Home For Top Thurles Gig

By Eoin Kelleher

THURLES singer songwriter Una Healy is looking forward to enjoying some home cooking when she returns to the Cathedral town for an upcoming gig on June 3rd with her hit girlband ‘The Saturdays’.

Una now has her hands full with her new baby girl, Aoife Belle, now nearly two months old. The new arrival has transformed Una’s life, but the former Presentation Secondary School student can still pump out the tunes on stage, and a capacity crowd is expected for the Saturdays’ gig on June 3rd in the Thurles Greyhound Stadium.

Una told the Tipperary Star it will be fantastic for the other band members - Mollie King, Frankie Stanford, Vanessa White, and Rochelle Wiseman - to finally get to visit Thurles, and see the place where she spent her formative years, learning music and dance under the wing of renowned mentor Pauline Dwan.

“I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be back to do a show with The Saturdays. It’s a great opportunity. I’m very proud to be from Tipperary and to bring the girls back to the place where I’m from,” says Una.

Little Aoife Belle, who gave her parents a fright shortly after birth when she started choking, is now doing just fine, and will enjoy her first visit to Thurles this June. Aoife won’t be joining her mum on stage for the gig, but will enjoy time at home with grandparents Dr John Healy and Anne Healy - whose own brother, Declan Nerney, is a leading country ‘n western singer in his own right.

“Her little ears aren’t developed enough for the loudspeakers, but hopefully someday she’ll get to come back and see us perform,” says Una. Una’s own pram has been dusted off for Aoife’s arrival, and Anne is busy getting everything organised for the baby. Una’s proud Dad, Dr John Healy, has even put down some extra tarmac outside the family home on the Slievenamon Road to help the baby’s buggy make a smooth entrance.

Una stays in contact with some of her close friends from Thurles, who will be there for her at a Hen Party just prior to the gig in June. “It’s alway nice to catch up with my friends from Thurles.” Deborah Curtis, a close friend of Una’s from Thurles, has garnered the support of O’Dwyer/Envirobin to showcase the Saturdays’ gig on the side of their trucks with promotional posters.

The Saturdays will be staying in Thurles for the day, signing autographs for fans, before flying out early on the morning of the 4th.

Una’s partner, England Rugby Star Ben Foden, will be not be able to make it to Thurles this time, as he is touring with the team in South Africa. But Ben will get to enjoy some of the delights of the Premier County later this year when the star-studded couple tie the knot at a dream wedding in the beautiful surrounds of Kilshane House, located only a few miles from Tipperary town.

From reports, tickets for the gig are selling well, with strong local and national support. “Tipperary and Thurles are so central - with the train line and the motorway - we hope to attract a crowd not just from Tipperary but from all over the country. There will be a full show with our live band, and all the hits, plus some from our new album as well,” promises Una.

The new album - ‘On Your Radar’ was released last year, with several singles charting in the UK and Ireland’s Top 10. The ‘All Fired Up’ arena tour has 11 dates. The line-up for the June 3rd show was announced in last week’s Tipperary Star, and includes Royseven, Keywest, The Smash Hits, Boulevard, Gari Deegan from ‘The Voice of Ireland’, and Whitewater - something to suit every musical taste. Tickets are available from Kennedy’s Live Promotions (086 777 0949) or at www.ticketmaster.ie.