herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Mary looking for X-Factor return

Mary Byrne
Mary Byrne

DUBLIN crooner Mary Byrne looks set to return to her talent show roots by putting in an appearance on this year's Xtra Factor.

Mary, who was attending the National Ploughing Championships, revealed she is in talks to go on Simon Cowell's spin-off show.

The former X-Factor finalist from Ballyfermot said she loves watching top judge Cowell back on her TV screen every Saturday night with her pal Louis Walsh.

"We're in negotiations to try and get me over in the audience and hopefully get on to the Xtra Factor, so lets hope I can get the time," she said.

"At the moment I'm so busy on Saturdays and Sundays so I don't know what's going to happen," Mary added.

Surrounded by tractors, trailers and silage makers, she said that her second trip to the championships was slightly less eventful than her first at the age of 13.

bucketing

"We were coming in here and it was bucketing down rain, my brother-in-law Liam said 'watch where you're walking' and as Mary walks, Mary's foot went down a hole and the muck went right up," she added.

She was at the Co Laois monster event promoting Flexiseq, a drug-free arthritis relief gel.

Celebrity chefs Clodagh McKenna and Martin Shanahan, rugby star Sean O'Brien, TV stylist Brendan Courtney, singer Sharon Shannon and presenters Brian Ormonde, Sile Seoige and Eoghan McDermott were among the celebrities on hand to entertain the crowds.

Other highlights away from the ploughing fields included sheep dog trials, chain saw sculpture, welly throwing competitions, fashion shows and Richie Kavanagh's bar, where his greatest hits are flying off the shelves.

Hundreds were queueing for tickets long before the gates even opened at 8am, with lengthy traffic delays.

But the head of the event revealed there's no room for the three-day farming spectacular to get any bigger.

"I have seen it grow from 25 exhibitors to up to 1,400 now, but it's something I wouldn't like to see getting any bigger because what we have at the moment I'd love to be able to keep and give the services and exhibitors need," said managing director Anna May McHugh

"I have noticed this year the standard of the displays in the exhibition area have improved 100pc, even since last year. But I believe if it gets any bigger that might go out the door."

heart

Ms May said while the variety of exhibitions, machinery and side shows attract both rural and city folk, ploughing will always be at the heart of the event.

"The ploughing enthusiasts come just for the ploughing," she added.

hnews@herald.ie

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