Singer-songwriter Gemma Bradley, originally from Derry but now based in Dublin, was crowned the winner of the 8th annual IMRO Christie Hennessy Song Competition with her song ‘Berserk’.
The live final took place on Saturday, 3rd November at The Ashe Hotel, Tralee, with a special guest performance from songwriter Don Mescall who was joined by Stella Parton. Ten finalists were selected from just under 300 entries from across Ireland and beyond to perform their original song in front of a live audience and panel of expert judges.
Speaking at the announcement of the winner Gemma said: “I am so thrilled to be named the winner of this year’s Christie Hennessy Song Competition – I still can’t believe it! Thanks so much to the judges for selecting me. It’s been such a surreal experience, the level of talent there was amazing! Just so thrilled!”
Gemma was presented with a cheque for €1,000, courtesy of CARA Credit Union. London and Donegal native Leila Jane received €300 as a worthy runner-up for her Franz Kafka inspired song ‘Look Away From Our Creation’.
The competition which is a tribute to one of Tralee’s most famous sons received almost 300 entries from across Ireland and beyond. Now in its eighth year, the competition has grown in stature over the years to become one of Ireland’s leading song competitions and continues to attract a high calibre of songwriters from Ireland and overseas, covering a broad range of musical genres. Previous winners have included Paul McDonnell, Dave Molloy, Alan Kavanagh, Enda Reilly/Christine Deady, Míde Houlihan & Katie O’Connor and Curtis Walsh.
Photo: Joe Hanley