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Co Armagh man’s music played to thousands in New York for Michael Conlan debut

'It was quite ironic as I was standing outside the doors of Madison Square Garden one week ago'

Music by a county Armagh man was used by Belfast’s Michael Conlan as he made his highly-anticipated professional debut in New York last night (Friday).

Former world amateur number one Conlan, flanked by UFC superstar Conor McGregor, made his ring-walk in the famous Madison Square Garden accompanied by music by Camlough native Niall Murphy.

Niall’s fiddle solo pumped out around the arena as thousands of Irish and Americans belted out various anthems.

Speaking to Armagh I, Niall explained how he found out his music was played: “The piece was originally recorded by myself as part of the Euros. After one video I created of Michael Jackson went viral with over 150K views, I was approached to create another for the Euros in support of the Irish team.

“It too went viral and has a patriotic theme with the ole ole ole theme, dearg doom tune, the national anthem and two Irish reels incorporated too.

“I had no idea it was going to be used. I was woken up by a text message telling me my music had been used as his entrance music and of course I didn’t believe it because I hadn’t been approached but after watching a video of Conlan and McGregor entering Madison Square Garden – it was unmistakable!”

He added: “It’s a great feeling to have two iconic sports figures use your music as their official entrance music and to watch a full stadium chant and sing along to it.

“I then spoke to Conlan afterwards and he said ‘he loved the music and had it arranged five months ago’. It’s a privilege!

“It was quite ironic as I was standing outside the doors of Madison Square Garden one week ago during a tour of the States with my band ‘Breaking Trad’ but little did I know my own music would be playing inside a week later.

He continued: “Recently, I’ve been approached by several different people about using my music for different things so I’m looking forward to seeing the finished results.”

Conlan defeated American Tim Ibarra inside three rounds of a scheduled six for a dream start to his pro career – a result that will go some way to putting to bed the nightmare of the Rio Olympics fiasco last summer.

Favourite for the gold, Conlan was robbed by the judges, who all received the middle finger salute.

Niall has already carved a reputation for himself amongst highly renowned musicians and singers around the world in Irish Traditional, English Folk and Country and Bluegrass circles. 

Having played the fiddle from an early age, also playing guitar and piano, he has performed all across the globe at many major festivals and concert venues, picking up many accolades along the way. 

In recent times, he became an internet sensation with his viral video of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ which received over 300,000 online hits and received attention of some of the biggest online media companies around the globe.

Check out Niall’s Facebook page here.

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