Bridie Sweeney sings Happy Birthday

Heart-warming Radio“Now wait ‘til I tell you, my great-grandchild is 10 tomorrow in London. If I gave you his name, would you say Happy Birthday.”

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Anxious? Overwhelmed? Perturbed by people’s obsession with toilet roll? Do yourself a favour and take a moment to listen to Tallaght native Bridie Sweeney, who sent her infectious positivity out across the airwaves to us all – and to one person in particular, on today’s Ray D’Arcy Show.

Ray has spoken to Bridie before and they’re like old pals at this stage. The 88 year old Tallaght Person of the Year has been on Ray’s TV show and every so often pops up on the radio programme. She’s a tonic. Determined to see the good in every situation, and people specifically, Bridie told Ray:

“There’s so many good people. The world has come together. That’s one good thing about all this.”

Like many of us, Bridie is attempting to keep the boredom at bay in any way she can. Exercising in the garden and cleaning the house are the distractions she’s turned to most often.

“I’ve been down the garden and up the garden and there’s only so many times I can go up and down the garden. It’s like washing the floor. The kitchen is spotless. I’m looking in at it and I’m saying merciful God let me go out again and do for others.”

Bridie volunteers with St. Vincent De Paul and lives a very active life in her community, so self-isolation is tough. Ray wondered what she was missing most?

“Being out among people, because when you live alone, you get used to it because you have to, but it’s not nice.”

No doubt people are missing Bridie too. How could you not. One person who is sure to be missing her more keenly than anyone else is a young man called Jack.

“Now wait ‘til I tell you, my great-grandchild is 10 tomorrow in London. If I gave you his name, would you say Happy Birthday?”

Well, Ray and the team suggested they go one better. If Bridie sang Happy Birthday to her great-grandson Jack, they’d clip it up and send it to him. Overjoyed, Bridie proceeded to deliver one of the most heart-warming radio moments of the year so far. Singing Happy Birthday, straight from the heart, she ended saying:

“I love you. God bless you… Ah Ray, that was lovely.”

Ray was quick to correct her, saying, “no, you were lovely.” And so say all of us.

Times are tough. They’re sure to get tougher. It’s worth remembering in those moments, Bridie is who we’re trying to protect. The world needs as many Bridies as it can possibly hold. Even one less, would be a tragedy.

Happy birthday Jack… and wash your hands, for as long as it takes your Nana to sing Happy Birthday.

You can hear Bridie’s moving rendition of Happy Birthday as well as her full interview with Ray, here.

Jan Ní Fhlanagáin

© The Listener 2020

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