Killarney boy Michael O’Brien (11), charmed over 1.5 million viewers during his appearance on Friday night’s Late Late Toy Show – the most-watched programme on Irish television for 2018.
Visually impaired Michael, who said appearing on the country’s most loved show was “a dream come true”, was left stunned when he met his sporting hero Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald live during his planned book review.
Michael, son of Michael and Noreen from Woodside, was chatting to presenter Ryan Tubridy explaining that Davy was his sporting hero, when the sportsman appeared on the set and presented the youngster with a GAA jersey and tickets to the All-Ireland final next September.
This week, RTE revealed that ‘The Greatest Showman’ themed show was watched by an average audience of over 1.3 million live on the night, while a further 141,700 viewers watched their recording of the show on Saturday, and 51,9000 viewers did the same on Sunday. In addition, 113,000 watched the repeat viewing on RTÉ One on Saturday.
On the RTÉ Player the show had record numbers, with 116,000 live streams, up 33 percent on last year, and over 100,000 watching on catch-up. The show was watched in over 100 countries outside of Ireland, with viewers logging on across the globe including Myanmar, Burundi, Haiti and Mongolia.
Rory Darcy, Principal of St Oliver’s National School in Killarney, where Michael is a pupil, said that all staff and pupils are so proud of Michael.
“We are so proud of him,” Rory said. “I’ve never seen him speechless before.”
He said Michael is a fantastic young man and a pleasure to be around.
“He has an infectious sense of humour and an encyclopaedic knowledge of sport, particularly Gaelic football, darts and boxing.
“He’s the type of young lad you’d feel better around.”
And before Michael departed for Dublin, the school treated him to a mini toy show.
“We practiced it in assembly and the Parents Association gave him a hamper full of treats for his journey.”
He added the work Michael’s teacher Ciara O’Sullivan, Shirley McGough and Special Needs Assistant (SNA) Olive Horgan, do is just brilliant.