Nine-year-old Grace Lehane from Lissarda has found herself an internet star after a video of her playing the concertina was shared around the world.
Social media users on Facebook and Twitter have fallen in love with the clip, which has been viewed millions of times. What makes it unusual is that Grace is performing for the cows on her family farm, who come ambling over to listen as soon as she starts playing 'Britches Full Of Stitches'.
Her father Denis Lehane said the idea came to Grace when she saw a video of one of her musical idols doing something similar.
“We did it because Sharon Shannon did something like it and we thought, that looks good,” he said. “I just went down the lane with Grace and we filmed, the cattle came over as soon as she started playing.”
They filmed the short clip last July and Denis uploaded it to his own Facebook page. It got likes and compliments from family and friends but the Lehanes had largely forgotten about it until it came to the attention of the trad star herself.
“Sharon Shannon liked it on Facebook and that started a snowball effect,” Denis said. “It seems to be her reaction, people really like it. It is very popular in the US, people love the innocence of the whole thing.” The clip has been liked and shared by a number of celebrities, including Mark Hamill from Star Wars and Moone Boy star Chris O’Dowd. But despite the famous names, Grace was most excited to hear her music teacher, Liam O’Mahony from Newcestown Comhaltas, had seen it.
Grace, who also plays piano, is one of six siblings and her four sisters and brother also play piano. Word of her newfound fame has spread to Kilmurry National School, where she is in third class.
“Some of my teachers have seen it and I told some of my friends,” Grace told the Evening Echo. “It is a bit strange knowing so many people have seen it but very nice too.”