A COALISLAND woman’s dream was made a reality when a chance meeting between her dad and the brother-in-law of Westlife’s Nicky Byrne in a bar, led to her getting up close and personal with the boyband members at their farewell concert on Tuesday night.
Colleen Skeffington, who travelled to the concert at the Odyssey in Belfast with her sister, aunt and fiance, told the Tyrone Times she was “really chuffed” to be given the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet her pop idols.
“Daddy was talking to Nicky’s brother-in-law in a bar as his family is from the same direction as where Daddy lives”, Collen explains.
“Daddy said to him, ‘My girls are going to the concert in the Odyssey and have never missed one, and would there be any chance of arranging a meet and greet with the boys?’
“We rang the man on the day of the concert, Tuesday, and he said he would ring Nicky to see if the band were doing any meet and greets, but he said he didn’t think so. However, Nicky then told him he would arrange for us to get to meet the band, which was absolutely fantastic!”
Colleen and her family were among only approximately 10 people out of a concert audience of some 8,000 who were allowed to pose for photographs with their heroes, and she has kindly allowed the Times to publish the images from her dream night.
“We were really chuffed to be able to meet the boys in person”, Colleen continued, “although we were quite nervous on the day of the concert and on the drive up to Belfast.
“But when it came to actually meeting them, it was just like they were ordinary people. They were all lovely, really nice and friendly.
“My fiance, Matt, was taking photos and I just told him to keep snapping! The concert itself was amazing, the band put on a really good show, it was a big combination of all the years.
“They were on stage for about two hours, which is longer than normal, and at times it was very sad as it was one of their last. My sister, Caoimhe, shed a tear or two, but I managed to hold it together!”
Westlife announced last year that they will go their separate ways, after 14 years together, and will play their last ever concert at Croke Park in Dublin next month.
Their closing gig will be screened at cinemas across the globe in countries including South Africa, Finland and the Netherlands.
The boys, who were originally signed by Simon Cowell and managed by Louis Walsh, have topped the UK charts 14 times.