Neung Kelly from Hanover, Carlow (front right) next to impresario Louis Walsh and other members of his as yet unknown boy band

By Charlie Kegan

A 20-year-old singer, musician and songwriter from Carlow has been cast as a member of Louis Walsh’s latest boy band.

Neung Kelly from Avondale Drive, Hannover, Carlow was chosen along with four other singers from across the country to form the band by music mogul Mayo Walsh, the man who started Westlife and Girls Aloud. Neung, who studies science at Maynooth University, was adopted from an orphanage in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, by his parents John and Martina Kelly. John is from Leighlinbridge, while the former Martina Phelan is from Graiguecullen, Laois.

More than 1,000 aspirants auditioned at a Dublin Freedoms Hall to try to be part of the five-member group, which has yet to be named. The other four successful candidates are Conor O’Farrell (20) from Meath, Harry O’Connell, 19, 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 said The Nationalist“It means that the world enters the group. I have always had a passion for music and I dreamed of making a career out of it. When I was selected to be part of the band, it was definitely a moment in my life that will forever be etched in my memory…a dream come true.

“We’re working a lot on the songs right now and I can’t wait to get our music out to the public and hopefully people can connect with our music and enjoy it, to really know who we are. ”

He expressed his sincere gratitude for all the support he received from everyone around him, adding: “At first it was overwhelming and exciting but, in the best way, and I only plan to take 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 day are still at the facility. But her life now revolves around her Carlow family and her burgeoning music career. Neung pays full tribute to his family, who have supported him so well in everything he has undertaken in his life so far.

The Kellys have an eldest daughter, Chanipa, also from Thailand. Chanipa is a member of the teaching staff at St Joseph’s Boys Primary School on St Joseph’s Road in the city.

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