Thursday, March 23, 2023

Westmeath Bachelor Festival: Meet the Bachelors!

Final preparations are being made to this year’s Westmeath Bachelor Festival, which will take place at a number of venues throughout Mullingar this May bank holiday weekend.

The weekend has a jam-packed event line-up, with the main stage for artists being in Blackhall Place. Starting on Friday, April 29, the Whistlin’ Donkeys and Friends take to the stage, starting at 4pm in the afternoon.

Eventbrite is the host site for the various ticket types on sale. You can purchase a VIP Weekend Admission ticket, a Weekend Admission Ticket, or tickets for individual events here.

Saturday, April 30

From 2pm on Saturday, April 30 in Blackhall Place, there is a Teenkix Student Special (for 16-17 years only), which there are a limited amount of tickets available. Top class acts such as Gavin James, Mullingar’s own Flynn, The Academic and The Blizzards will rock the place, along with Eleanor Sleator, Codyy and the one and only, Rory’s Stories.

Saturday also sees The Lakeland Sessions take place in Blackhall Place later in the evening, with a similar line up to that of the TeenKix concert, with Gavin James and the Blizzards, The Academic and many more artists entertaining the masses in Blackhall Place until late on Saturday night.

Sunday, May 1

From 1pm on Sunday, May 1, a special treat for all the country fans will see Westmeath’s adopted son Robert Mizzell take to the stage in Blackhall Place, along with a host of other well-known artists, including Nathan Carter, Cliona Hagan and Olivia Douglas.

The Westmeath Bachelor Competition grand finale and the event that everyone will be waiting for, takes place in the Mullingar Arts Centre on Sunday, May 1 at 8pm. This event sees the line up of well-known national judges (Louis Walsh, Anne Doyle, Nathan Carter and Doireann Garrihy) select the 2022 Westmeath Bachelor.

The bachelors

Thirteen bachelors will take part in this year’s sold-out Westmeath Bachelor Competition, which takes places at Mullingar Arts Centre this Sunday.

Aaron Murphy

Aaron Murphy

This year’s Dublin Bachelor, you will not meet a man with a kinder heart.

Aaron is the team leader of addiction services for the Peter McVerry Trust. He signed up for the Westmeath bachelor because (in his own words): “I’ve seen first-hand the excitement it has brought to the community. It was a shame it couldn’t go ahead in 2020 so I suppose this is a bit of unfinished business.”

Aaron says: “I do a fair amount of volunteer work for a number of organizations and when I get time away from that you’ll usually find me on the next flight out of Dublin airport.

“I love myself a bit of country music so you’ll probably find me on May 1st doing my signature dad dancing front and centre to a few Nathan Carter tunes.”

Andy Fox

Andy Fox

Foxy by name and Foxy by nature, Andy Fox is a bundle of energy and as sound a man as you could ever wish to meet. A Mullingar man who is not afraid of any challenge. He travelled to the United States to qualify as a taxidermist. As well as working full time in this area he also helps out on the family farm.

“I’d describe myself as an outdoors person. I live at home with my mam, dad and sister on the family farm where I play a pivotal role. I’m always up for the craic and love socializing at the weekends with friends and meeting new people. I like country music and jiving.”

When asked why he entered the Westmeath Bachelor Competiton he replied: “Because I’ve been told by many that I tick all the boxes and definitely have the personality for it. This is something I think I could excel at. I’m the original Bachelor, working for the family and somewhat of a home bird.”

Ash Patil

Ash Patil

Aishan Patil is this year’s Scottish entry! Originally from Sligo and now residing in Dundee, Ash is a trainee vascular surgeon and certainly not just a handsome face.

“I believe I represent what’s so great about Ireland – doing my bit to make the world a better place while still able to have a laugh at my own expense. I care for the sick in my day job and I enjoy hiking, making music and chilling with mates after hours.”

When asked why he entered the competition he replied: “My parents both remain in Ireland, it was them who made me aware of the Westmeath Bachelor Festival and it was something from the get-go I felt I had to be a part of – the concept and the event as a whole, the entire line-up, the names in the music and media industry (many of whom are national idols) and the chance to return home to promote both a beautiful part of our country as well as a worthy charity.

Dermot Mullen 

Dermot Mullen

Dermot Mullen is one of those people that once you’ve met him you will never forget him. Outgoing, charming and oh so much fun.

A Mullingar man, originally from Delvin, Dermot’s earlier career was in hospitality and he now works in aviation. He has also most recently been elected to the Divisional Executive Committee (DEC) of the Forsa trade union.

When asked why he thought he could be the next Westmeath Bachelor he replied: “I would love to be the next Westmeath Bachelor. I’m a very outgoing, friendly, sincere person and with my job in aviation I travel a lot. I would love to be the next ambassador to represent Westmeath both locally and worldwide. After all it’s 20 years since the last competition took place and society and peoples views have changed too.”

Brian Sheehan

Brian Sheehan

The Westmeath Bachelor Festival committee were excited when they received Brian Sheehan’s entry as not only does he seem to be an exceptional human being, he is coming all the way from New York!

“It was actually my mom’s idea. She grew up close to Mullingar and kept in touch with a couple of her childhood friends. They told her about this festival and she told me. It seemed like a fun and interesting experience so I couldn’t resist. I haven’t been over in Ireland in almost 7 years now and this seemed like the perfect reason to go back and learn more about my culture and where my family came from. I want to have as many adventures in my life as possible and this would be one I would regret not trying.”

When asked if he thought he could be the next Westmeath Bachelor he replied:

“All the contestants seem like a great bunch so I’m sure the judges will have a hard time deciding, but I’d like to think I have a good shot.”

Paddy Geraghty

Paddy Geraghty

The resident cheeky chappy, Paddy Geraghty never fails to crack a joke and make those around him laugh. Paddy hails from Tyrrellspass and works for Dublin City Council.

“I love to play GAA, I am an active member and player with my local hurling team, St. Bridget’s and our local football team, Tyrrellspass. I also play golf and I have a passion for music and singing.”

Paddy also enjoys community work, making himself available at every opportunity to volunteer in different ways at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, summer fairs, sports days, tidy towns and local GAA events.

Paddy says: “I entered the competition under false pretences as the Mother told me I’d win with no bother and with little competition, but clearly that was a biased opinion as I’m only one of a sound bunch of men.”

Rob O’Reilly

Robert O’Reilly

Rob hails from Enfield in Meath and is, without doubt, one of life’s gentlemen. He works for an airline as a Cabin Manager and is also Cabin Crew training instructor. Robert is very busy with his work as a volunteer within the Credit Union Movement.

Robert is Chairperson of Enfield Credit Union and also Chairperson of the ILCU National Youth Committee! He is studying for a BA in Business Management part time with National College of Ireland!

Rob enjoys all types of music but certainly is looking forward to seeing Nathan Carter play over the weekend. “I’ve entered the Westmeath Bachelor as I like the modern approach that it’s taking to the competition. I believe I have the personality and charisma to win the title of Westmeath Bachelor 2022 and to take the title to an international level!”

Ben Mulligan

Ben Mulligan

Uniquely stylish and incredibly talented, Ben Mulligan is from Mullingar and is also widely known for his musical talent. “I grew up in Mullingar, a town known for its music so for me music always played a big part in my life growing up. I studied guitar for 5 years and in that time I formed my band “Bobby and the Blunts” and worked alongside another Mullingar based artist called “Scally”. I have been working as a session musician collaborating with other Dublin based bands.

“I decided to pursue another passion of mine which is fashion. I’m currently studying fashion design and also working as a stylist doing everything from editorial shoots to music videos.”

Ben says: “I’ve a very outgoing personality and am always up for new experiences so when a friend of mine suggested entering the Competition I thought it would be a bitta craic.”

Kieran Nolan

Kieran Nolan

A Westmeath man and a true example of not letting life get in the way of your goals and dreams, Kieran Nolan is a true inspiration.

Kieran was born with a hearing impairment but he has never let that stop him from living life to the full and smashing goals some of us only dream about. An avid athlete, running a marathon is commonplace for Kieran and he has many medals and accolades to prove it!

When asked why he entered the competition he replied: “I’m looking forward to singing with sign language and to showing the audience a new conception of entertainment. I entered the competition to meet new people and to show my talents on stage; to start a new life and maybe find a new love!”

Kyle Smyth

Kyle Smyth

A local Mullingar businessman, known by many and liked by all, Kyle Smyth is a name which is synonymous with hard work, good craic and someone who has a word for everyone.

Kyle owns and manages a local hardware shop, has ran two marathons in the past year and also finds time for charity work, recently captaining the winning team in the annual Yopra Cup, raising much need funds for charity “Ella’s Journey”.

“I love all types of sports; watching, playing, discussing! Big music fan, all genres, well nearly all, sunny days at festivals are so hard to beat. I love going to the gym, socialising with friends, and planning the next adventure. Family and friends are the most important things in life!”

Bryan Murphy

Bryan Murphy

A born entertainer, Bryan is from a farming background with a love of music and entertainment. Having worked as a farmer and attending Limerick Agricultural College he recently decided to follow his passion in music. He now spends his time immersed in song writing, gigging and entertaining. He is currently working on his new website and the future is looking bright!

When asked why he entered the competition he replied: “I entered because I thought that it’s a great competition, that I’d truly enjoy it. Plus it will be great craic after nearly two years of isolation in society and I suppose, I thought I’d a good a chance as any of winning.”

Denis Cronin

Denis Cronin

“Dinny” Denis Cronin also known as “The Dinny Cro Show” is a social media manager who has many strings to his bow. Owner of successful digital marketing company Social Star, organiser of Miss Earth Ireland and someone with a fondness for public speaking; Denis always has a smile on his face and gives the impression of someone who never runs out of energy.

When asked why he entered the competition he replied: “I thought it would be a great way to make some new friends and have loads of craic in the process and so far so good. All the other lads are A1 and I can’t wait until the final weekend now.”

Asked if he could be the next Westmeath Bachelor? “I honestly don’t mind the whole competition side of it as I’d be delighted for whoever wins. I do consider myself good craic all the same and I think that’s what the whole competition is all about!”

David Goodliffe

David Goodliffe

David was a Westmeath Bachelor back in the 90s and has come back to give it another shot!! He currently lives in Westcliff-on-Sea in England where he is a novelist and front-line therapist in the health service. He works as part of the physio team in a frailty ward for people over 75. He says he tries to give them a laugh and a reason to get out of bed every morning.

“I won the “Wild Card” entry. Not sure if it was because I’m wild or because I’m a card? More likely it is because I am a departure from the norm regarding contestants in shows like these.  “I am 60 and took part exactly 25 years ago so I’m the “Big Brother” of our group.”

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