Laois mother of four is cheering up everyone with stunning nightly songs

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan

Laois mother of four is cheering up everyone with stunning nightly songs

Joan Murphy from Durrow who is posting videos of songs nightly to cheer everyone up

A Laois mother of four is cheering up her local and online community every night by singing stunning versions of Irish songs.

Joan Murphy whose husband Seosamh owns the Castle Arms Hotel in Durrow says the songs are as much a comfort to her as anyone else at this strange time in the Covid-19 pandemic.

She began on the day they had to close, singing Breaking the Line, after a challenge by her cousin Leslie Murphy who is also singing online. See it below.

Joan got such a response that she agreed to post more.

"My friends say they look forward to them. I'm in touch with people now that I haven't seen in years. Everything on the news is about the coronavirus, its unprecedented. It's the fear of the unknown and how long it will last. I'm trying to stay positive. We can't go anywhere and there's only so much television you can watch, so when the kids are in bed I give it a go. I enjoy it as much as anyone," Joan said.

It is the first time in 65 years that the Murphy family run hotel has closed, albeit temporarily. They have 35 staff who are temporarily without a job since March 18.

"It was a very emotional day. We have very loyal staff, some are over 20 years with us. They were very understanding. We did our best to stay open. We have lots of elderly customers who come in for their dinner and the social chat. We had asked everyone to keep their distance and we tried to do a delivery service. We were just afraid of elderly people not getting their dinner. But it got to the stage we couldn't," she said. 

Joan and Seosamh are now staying safe at home with their four children aged 17, 13, 3 and 1. 

"We are trying to stay positive. Thankfully my daughter Roisin is in 5th year but she is already considering repeating. Our three year old boy Seosamh Óg is missing playschool, he is getting his bag and asking to go," she said.

"It's giving me a lift too, I can't see my family in Wexford, and it's a comfort that my own family are looking at them, especially my mother Margaret Doyle, she is ringing me up asking what I'm singing next. It's just about keeping in touch with people, trying to give them a bit of a lift," Joan said.