Brendan Keeley’s new anthem of hope We Will Be Strong will be presented to US President Barack Obama at his inauguration later this month.
The performer is best known for his platinum selling single I’ll Always Be Lonely.
He plans to visit 78 schools in the midlands over the coming weeks to teach students the new song.
The three-week tour of schools will culminate in the single’s recording in Tullamore’s GAA ground at O’Connor Park, at the end of the month.
“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,” explained Mr Keeley.
“I have composed an anthem of hope. 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,” he remarked.
“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 attendance of the schools, and the general public of all ages, being recorded singing the anthem at O’Connor Park on Jan 27.
“We are expecting to record thousands of voices on that day.”
According to Mr Keeley, sporting personalities from across Ireland have backed the campaign and will attend on the day. Henry Healy — Barack Obama’s eighth cousin — will present a copy of the anthem to the US president at his inauguration on Jan 19.
* www. exa.mn/fe