By Robert Firth
A quarantined Irish family proved the craic wasn’t cancelled by staging a hilarious ‘virtual Paddy’s Day parade’ in their kitchen.
Alan Lawlor, 36, from Castletown, County Laois, got his four children together to perform famous Irish folksong ‘The Wild Rover’ while wife, Nikki, 34, filmed the moment.
The dad-of-four and singer had the idea of gathering the family together for a rendition of the song, after the Irish government asked pubs to close on Ireland’s national day to contain the spread of coronavirus.
But Alan was determined not to let Covid-19 spoil four-month-old daughter Fiath’s first St. Patrick’s Day – putting her in pride of place to dance at the front of the heart-warming family singalong.
The musician said: “Ireland is in lockdown and there are no parties or anything because of Covid-19 so we decided to have our own fun here on Paddy’s Day.
“We basically got up this morning and everybody was a bit glum.
“There was no social interaction and it’s the one time of the year that normally everybody is at the pub chatting, even the kids.
“There were no parades, no trips out, no gigs, no school, no visiting but, the craic wasn’t cancelled – I said we have to try our best and make a good day out of it so let’s sing.
“I wanted Fiath, who is only four months old, to enjoy her first Paddy’s day too.
“She couldn’t play an instrument, but she just danced away.”
Alan sang and played the guitar during the rendition, while his eldest daughter, Shannon, 14, played the ukulele and his wife Nikki filmed.
His son Oisin, 10, and daughter Kate, nine, were on the drums in the virtual parade, while Fiath danced and waved an Irish flag.
Even the family’s three-year-old terrier Fred got in on the fun, watching from the side lines in a patriotic green coat.
Alan said: “I’m a gigger and military musician so usually it’s a busy time of the year and I’m normally all over the place performing.
“It was weird not being out celebrating because it’s a long tradition.
“The Wild Rover is a well-known Irish song and the children loved taking part.
“They were all up for a bit of fun since they’re stuck inside and aren’t going to school.
“We’re very much a nation of song collectors and lovers.”