Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Neung Kelly from Hanover, Carlow (front right) beside impressario Louis Walsh and the other members of his as-yet unnamed boy band

Neung Kelly from Hanover, Carlow

By Charlie Keegan

A 20-YEAR-OLD Carlow singer, musician and songwriter has been chosen as a member of Louis Walsh’s latest boy band.

Neung Kelly from Avondale Drive, Hanover, Carlow was chosen with four other singers from throughout the country to form the band by Mayo music mogul Walsh, the man who launched Westlife and Girls Aloud. Neung, who is studying science at Maynooth University, was adopted from an orphanage in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, by his Carlow parents John and Martina Kelly. John is originally from Leighlinbridge, while the former Martina Phelan is a native of Graiguecullen, Carlow.

More than 1,000 wannabes auditioned at a venue in Dublin’s Liberties for a shot at making the five-member band, which has yet to be named. The other four successful candidates are Conor O’Farrell (20) from Meath, 19-year-old Harry O’Connell and Conor Davis, also l9, both from Dublin, and Joshua Regala (17) from Navan.

Together they hope to become the next big sensation in the pop world.

Neung told The Nationalist: “It means the world getting into the band. I’ve always had a passion for music and had a dream to pursue it as a career. When I was selected to be in the band, it was definitely a moment in my life that will be forever engraved in my mind … a dream come true.

“We are currently putting a lot of work into the songs and I am looking forward to when our music is released for the public to hear and I hope people can connect with our music and enjoy it, to really get to know who we are.”

He expressed his sincere appreciation for all the support he has been given by everyone around him, adding: “Initially it was overwhelming and exciting but, in the very best way, and I only plan on taking it day by day, to enjoy every minute of this experience.

The Carlow singer visits the baby home in Bangkok every three or four years, commenting that some of the young men who were there in his time are still in the facility. But his life is now centred on his Carlow family and his budding music career. Neung pays full tribute to his family, who have been so supportive to him in everything he has undertaken in his life so far.

The Kellys have an older daughter, Chanipa, who is also from Thailand. Chanipa is a member of the teaching staff at St Joseph’s Boys primary school on the town’s St Joseph’s Road.


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