Singer Spillane changes his tune on Ballincollig

Singer Spillane changes his tune on Ballincollig
Cork musician John Spillane joined Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority to announce the new bus fare structure in the Cork city area. Pic: Darragh Kane

Cork singer John Spillane and his track ‘Johnny don’t go to Ballincollig’ are the sound and face of the Cork Leap Card.

The PR campaign, which was launched today, is highlighting the new low bus fares for suburban towns such as Ballincollig and Carrigaline. Owners of a leap card can now travel to these towns for €1.89.

John said it was a “great honour” to be the face of the Leap Card. “It is all about the song, ‘Johnny don’t go to Ballincollig’. I brought it out in 1997 and it was covered by Christy Moore on two albums.

“A rejigged version of the song is being used for the radio campaign. The ad goes ‘Johnny don’t go to Ballincollig, Johnny don’t go to Carrigaline, but that was then, this was now, ‘cos with the new leap card, go Johnny go.” “I recorded a demo version and they loved it and then I went up to Dublin last week and recorded the ad.” John said he will also be appearing on posters in bus stops all over the city. “That part of it is mortifying,” John said.

Despite this, the Cork singer said he was delighted to be a part of the campaign. “It’s a laugh, the song is getting another outing. It is good for the song. I am Cork and proud and it is great to be involved in this project.” As well as charming the city and county as the face of the savvy travel pass, John is also working on a big project called “Fir Uisce, The Legend of the Lough”.

“I have been working on an Opera based on a local fairytale for the past three years. I have been working with Corcadorcha theatre company and we are doing a week’s work in the Triskel in the coming weeks with Opera Singers. We hope to have it ready by 2019.

As well as this, Mr Spillane is also writing songs about his local area Passage West. “There is a lot of material in Passage, with the water, boats and the harbour. There is a lot of history in the area.”

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