Fr Kelly says ‘never give up on your dreams’
Fr Ray Kelly has said that his story shows that dreams can come true no matter how old you are.
The Co Meath priest is a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent after performing R.E.M.’s Everybody hurts in one of Simon Cowell’s ‘favourite ever auditions’.
Now the 65-year-old hopes that his journey will help to inspire people of all ages across Ireland.
He told the Irish Mirror: “You are never too old to achieve your dreams. Once you have the heart and the desire to achieve your dreams, you can do anything.
“Once you don’t take it too seriously, just enjoy it and if it doesn’t work out, that’s OK too.
“I visit the young people in the primary and secondary schools and look, the message is simple: never give up on your dream, if you keep knocking, the door will always open.”
“In the last year or two I had been thinking about competing in Britain’s Got Talent but figured I could never get up in front of Simon Cowell.
“But then I thought at my age I’ve nothing to lose, so I’ve been enjoying the rollercoaster of it all.
“I was more worried that I’d be embarrassed if the judges told me to go home and get off the stage but they were so positive and Simon said he loved me, I was one of his favourite auditions ever.”
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Fr Kelly was told ‘you better thank Him upstairs’ by judge Amanda Holden as she put him through to the next round, and he reveals that praying is a source of strength for him.
He said: “I do always pray and it calms me and relaxes me before I go on the stage and I pray to family and friends who have passed on and ask them to make sure it works out.
“When I sang the song Everybody Hurts I was fine because I’m so used to it, but that four seconds afterwards felt like a lifetime.
“I thought maybe I should walk off now, but then Simon stood up and it all kicked off from there.”
He added that he is getting even more nervous now as he prepares to perform live on TV for the semi-final.
He said: “I’m getting a little bit nervous now, I’m excited too but a bit apprehensive. We’re into the live shows now so it’s a different ball game altogether.
“It would be great to win it for Ireland as I’m the only Irish act, so if I could get all the Irish behind me it would be fantastic.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling