Irish feel-good anthem being made for Obama

Mon, Jan 7, 2013, 00:00

A midlands musician is on a mission to raise the nation’s spirits with an uplifting anthem due to be presented to US president Barack Obama at his inauguration later this month.

Brendan Keeley, best known for his platinum-selling single I’ll Always be Lonely, plans to visit 78 midlands schools in the coming weeks to teach students We will be Strong.

The three-week tour of the schools will culminate in the single’s recording at Tullamore’s GAA grounds, O’Connor Park, on Sunday, January 27th. All 78 schools and members of public will be invited to perform We will be Strong for the recording.

“I am weary of all the doom and gloom that has swallowed us up over the last few years and so am attempting to do something to try to raise the mood of the Irish people,” said Keeley.

“I have composed and anthem of hope entitled We will be Strong. It is not a song of protest, nor is it political or controversial in any way, shape or form. It is a rallying call to try to lift the centuries-old spirit of survival that lies deep within the Irish people, as sadly nobody seems to be pumping any hope into us at all.”

Keeley continued: “Over the month of January, with the help of the GAA youth officer John Leahy, I will be visiting 78 schools here in the midlands teaching the anthem to our young people.

“This will culminate with the . . . schools and the general public of all ages being recorded singing the anthem at O’Connor Park.”

He added that they were “expecting to record thousands of voices on that day”.

According to Keeley, sporting personalities from across Ireland had endorsed his campaign and would attend the recording.

“The event has also been endorsed by industry and organisations up and down the country,” he said, adding that Mr Obama’s eighth cousin, Henry Healy, would present a copy of the anthem to the US president at his inauguration on January 19th.