Birthday Surprise For Young Songwriter at Remembrance Run in Phoenix Park

by Gazette Reporter
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Joseph Ryder

Joseph Ryder received a lovely surprise last week on the eve of his 16th birthday when he was invited to perform his new release, titled Saturday at the annual Remembrance Run 5K walk or run event in the Phoenix Park next Sunday Nov 13.

The talented young performer won a songwriting competition during the summer organised by the Music Generation mentoring program in Wicklow. Joseph’s song Saturday was composed in memory of his Grandfather, Tom Curran, a well-known athletics coach who died in 2021 after a long illness. Tom lived for many years in Perrystown.

“I was  awarded a professional studio recording voucher as my prize for winning the songwriting contest,”Joseph said. “I was delighted to be able to record my song at Meadow Studios in Delgany and it will be released next week on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and other digital platforms.

“I could not ask for a better sixteenth birthday gift than this invitation I have just received to perform my song on stage in front of over two thousand participants in the annual Remembrance Run 5K in the Phoenix Park.

“My grandfather Tom was a musician and he encouraged me a lot with my music and songwriting. It feels so good and timely that I will now be singing the song I wrote for him in front of such a large audience. My grandfather loved athletics and music and it was from him that I developed my love for music and songwriting. I miss him a whole lot and I know that I will be singing to an audience who have a good understanding of grief and loss. That makes it all the more special for me.”

Launch of the 2022 Remembrance Run 5k which returns to the Phoenix Park on November 13th 2022 is Fergal Leonard. Fergal is a cousin of the late Ashling Murphy.
Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The annual Remembrance Run 5K Walk or Run event in the Phoenix Park on Sunday, November 13th has a strong musical theme and also performing at the event will be the Forget Me Nots and Our Lady Of Victories choirs. The inaugural event in 2012 was organised by Frank Greally and Athletics Ireland in memory of the much lauded writer Con Houlihan who wrote a sports column for the Evening Press for many years and later for the Sunday World. This is year marks the tenth anniversary of Con’s passing. Three other well known journalists – Brendan Mooney, (Irish Examiner), Tom O’Riordan, (Irish Independent) and Pater Byrne, (Irish Times), who all died within a few months of each other this year, will also be fondly remembered at this year’s Remembrance Run 5k.

“Brendan Graham, who composed two Eurovision winning songs, received maths grinds from Con Houlihan as an eleven year old when Con was a school teacher in his native Kerry. Brendan also composed the song -You Raise Me Up- that has received universal acclaim – including a performance at the American Super- Bowl Football game. The Forget Me Nots Choir will perform the song at the Remembrance Run 5k and dedicate it to Con Houlihan’s memory.

The family of Ashling Murphy, the primary school teacher, whose life was cruelly taken in January while out running on the banks of the Grand Canal near Tullamore, will take part in this year’s Remembrance Run 5k.

 “Ashling never got to finish her run that day in January and her family and friends will join together to fnish the run for her and celebrate her memory in the Phoenix Park Remembrance Run 5k, “Ashling’s cousin, Fergal Leonard said.

 Ashling was a traditional musician and a music teacher and the annual Remembrance Run 5k- Walk or Run event has a strong music theme with  the Forget Me Nots and Our Lady Of Victory Choirs performinng. The event also includes a Wall of Remembrance where participants write names of loved ones- family and friends passed, as well as touching messages. All participants receive a souvenir candle.

“It feels like I have won the lottery,” Joseph Ryder said. “I want to pursue a career in music and songwriting and I could not wish for a better start than to be playing my song on stage in the Phoenix Park in front of such a big audience. It’s a super way to celebrate my 16th birthday. I think my grandfather would be proud of me.” The event starts in the Phoenix Park at 10am.

Registration for the event is at: 

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