Great-granny Evelyn becomes instant success with the nation

By Mary Dennehy

SELFIES, autographs and being “mobbed” in The Square is a way of life now for great-granny Evelyn Williams, who became an instant success after her honest and emotional performance on Ireland’s Got Talent struck a chord with the nation.

Since Saturday’s performance, Evelyn (81) has reached celebrity status, with Tallaght’s most famous octogenarian ditching her crochet to make time for a hectic schedule of television appearances – after her stunning rendition of Send in the Clowns went viral.

facebook Linked Image Evelyn Williams 01final 

On The Echo’s Facebook page alone, the video shared of Evelyn’s performance had close to 500,000 views – with the post reaching a staggering 1.2 million people.  

This week, The Echo had a chat with Evelyn, in between her busy interview schedule, about life before and after she graced the Ireland’s Got Talent stage.

Reminiscing, Evelyn told The Echo that she was only 16 when she met Noel, the love of her life - with the young couple spending their time walking along the canal, going to the cinema when they “had a few bob” and looking in shop windows at things they couldn’t afford.

After getting married in 1960, Evelyn and Noel moved from Drimnagh to a tenement house on Patrick’s Street, and here they lived until the early seventies when they moved to a new community out in the sticks called Tallaght.

Their new home was in Bolbrook and over the years Evelyn and Noel, who sadly passed away seven years ago, made many very happy memories, which included rearing their two children, Eileen and Barry and welcoming six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Singing has always been a huge part of Evelyn’s life, with this love of music coming from her dad, who passed away when she was just 16.

She also praised the training provided to her by the nuns in Drimnagh who told a young Evelyn to mean every word when singing a song.


Evelyn celebrating at home last Saturday with family and friends


A well-known face around Tallaght, Evelyn, who has featured in The Echo a number of times over the years, has also been an extra on Fair City for the past two decades - and sings at a pensioners’ club in Walkinstown on Sundays, loves crocheting and gardening and every day jumps on her treadmill for a 45-minute workout.

When asked how she feels after last Saturday’s performance, Evelyn said: “It’s all been unbelievable.

“I can’t actually put it into words, there aren’t any words to explain how I feel, it’s like a dream.”

She added: “The media coverage has been tremendous and I’m really overwhelmed by it all, like one newspaper took pictures of me crocheting at home!

“We went to The Square on Sunday, the day after the show, and I was mobbed.

“People were stopping me to say congratulations and all the kids were looking for selfies and autographs, it was unbelievable… and I don’t know how to thank people for all of their support.”

After Evelyn’s unforgettable performance, judge Michelle Visage hit the ‘Golden Buzzer’, which catapulted the veteran singer straight into the live semi-finals of the TV3 show.  

“People keep asking what will I do if I win the show”, Evelyn told The Echo.

“However, I’ve already won.

“I’m so flattered and watching the show with my family last Saturday was out of this world.”

See more pictures in this week's issue of The Echo.

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