‘Ringsend Abbie’ Larkin celebrated by local community ahead of World Cup debut

Local band The Pullovers launch songs to pay tribute to Girls in Green as they head to Australia

“Lights, camera, action!” a person in the crowd at Ringsend community centre in Dublin shouted as a video of three local musicians, who have penned a song inspired by their neighbour, footballer Abbie Larkin, began to play on the big screen.

Ringsend band The Pullovers were launching two versions of their song and video, “Ringsend Abbie” and “On The Way Down Under”, on Thursday.

The song was inspired by the Ringsend football sensation Abbie Larkin and penned in celebration of her being included in the Irish Women’s Football team, who are competing in their first ever World Cup finals this month in Australia.

Larkin, who just turned 18 last April, is the youngest member of the lrish squad.

READ MORE

The songs were recorded by band members Shay Connolly, Paddy McGuinness and Paul Brannock, at Windmill Studios in Ringsend last Saturday and they are already at numbers one and two on the Irish top ten on iTunes.

On Thursday, some 40 locals gathered to watch a video of the band recording at Windmill Lane, complete with a slideshow of pictures of Larkin on the football pitch.

Each time a picture of the footballer was displayed, the crowd clapped and cheered in response.

“There’s a great community sense about the whole thing. The pride of someone being from the same village as we all grew up… and all she’s achieved. It’s a rare chance for us all to come together and celebrate,” band member Shay Connolly said.

“It’s all ours; the song, Abbie, it all belongs to us as a community. That’s why I sort of got a bit emotional,” he said.

Speaking to the crowd, Connolly explained that all proceeds from the song are going to Peter McVerry Trust.

“When you buy the song, the money will be released to the community centre account, and then we’ll have another big day in the centre when we’re donating the money,” he said.

Explaining how the song came about, Paddy McGuinness said Abbie Larkin’s uncle, Michael Larkin, had called him with the news that the footballer would be going to Australia and asked if the band would play at a live screening of the match.

“We were down entertaining the old folks. That’s what we do. Michael rang me and I was thrilled. The amount of stuff the young girl does in the community. She gave back thousandfold, and now everybody’s going to honour her achievement, because it’s magnificent,” he said.

When the video finished to applause, someone in the community centre was hear saying: “We might as well play it again”.

It was a resounding yes in response from the crowd, who were beaming with pride for their neighbour.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Michael Larkin said it was “absolutely amazing” that his niece would be playing in the Women’s World Cup.

“We were just chuffed when we found out she went through. I kicked into action then to organise big event for next Thursday,” he said.

“I got two big massive screens. No chairs or anything allowed on the pitch so the plan is to sit down with your blankie and watch the match live. After it’s over, we’ll have bouncy castles, face paint for the kids, the lot. The band will play for the adults”.

“We can’t wait and you should see her, she’s rearing to go, she’s sending us videos on the first class plane and the hotel room and all”.

Ringsend community centre manager Lorraine Barry had a “lovely cake made especially for the launch” on Thursday.

“We’re so, so proud of her. And for the three lads who are from Ringsend writing a song about her? God, it doesn’t get better than that,” she said.

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times