By Eoin Kelleher
HUNDREDS of screaming schoolgirls greeted Una Healy on Friday in the Presentation Secondary School’s assembly hall, as the Thurles singer songwriter returned to her old Alma Mater as part of RTE’s new series of ‘School around the Corner’.
A relaxed and tanned Una, straight back from LA where her band the Saturdays have just signed up with a new Record Label, gave tips on how to succeed in the tough world of show biz, and said she was inspired by her time in the Pres’ to pursue her first love - music.
Principal Marie Collins said Una was just like any other girl, dressed in her wine uniform when she entered First Year back in 1994. “She was bubbly, enthusiastic - everything a First Year should be.” Una was involved in many extra-curricular activities, and impressed at the County Tipperary Swimming Galas. “I was always proud to have Una on my team,” said Ms Collins. “Because we were guaranteed four Gold Medals each time: Breast Stroke, Back Fall, Front Fall, and Relay, for five years”. Una excelled in Cross Country running, but music was her passion, taking part in school shows and getting an ‘A’ in Music for both her Junior Cert and Leaving Cert. “We have great memories of her in ‘Me and My Girl’ where she played the part of the Duchess,” added Ms Collins.
Una performed her own song at a Variety Show in Third Year, and composed some of her own tunes for the Leaving Cert practical. The talented singer “never lost sight of her dream, and never gave up,” added Ms Collins. Una’s motto on the Saturdays’ website is “never underestimate yourself.”
Una fielded some tough questions from Deputy Principal Mary Lanigan Ryan, saying she felt even more nervous in front of the entire school than at one of the Saturdays’ gigs. Una’s former Irish and German teacher asked her what went through her mind as she came through the school gates. “I remember the fun times at school. ‘Me and my Girl’ and PE down the Hockey pitch, and just hanging out at lunch time down by the radiators. I made some of the best friends here. The teachers offered great encouragement. I definitely received a great education here, and encouragement.”
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.