Irish traveller mum melts talent show judges with When You Were Sweet 16

The travelling community often get a bad press but a mother-of-two went some way to redressing the balance when she appeared on Ireland’s Got Talent.

Sharon Ward began by singing Stand by Me by Ben E. King. She dedicated her performance to her two children and said she hoped to make her travelling people proud.

“There’s loads of good Travellers out there so the more positive things that are being done, the better. Hopefully this is one of them positive things and that my people are so proud.

“I’d like the children to think that nothing can hold them back in life.”

Sharon Ward on Ireland's Got talent

One of the judges, Louis Walsh, suspected that although Sharon did a good job on Stand By Me, she probably chose it because she thought it would be right for the show even though it wasn’t ‘really her’.

Sharon explained: “I thought I was doing a good thing by picking something that everybody knew and that it’d be familiar and they’d like it.”

Walsh asked her what song she would have sung if she was trying to represent her true self. She replied: I would probably have sung something by Finbarr Furey.”

“Could you sing a little bit of it now,” asked Walsh. “I could,” she said.

“Off you go then,” said Walsh. “This is YOU.”

Sharon then sang one verse of the song unaccompanied and brought the house down.

Louis Walsh told her: “This is you, I know it.”

After a thunderous reception from the audience, Sharon got a thumbs up from all the judges and is through to the next round.

Take a look at the video below.

More about When You Were Sweet 16

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Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore is a writer for Irish Music Daily and Ireland Calling. His favourite Irish music bands are the Dropkick Murphys and the Pogues.

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