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Clare couple just what the doctor ordered.

Byline: By MICHAEL COMMINS

CLARE'S Michael O'Brien has the essential ingredients for a healthy career in showbiz.

The Ennis man is perhaps the only Country star in Ireland who combines a career as a state registered nurse with his love of Country music.

"My background is entirely in the nursing profession," says the genial Ennis man.

"I'm fully qualified in both general and psychiatric nursing. It gives you a great understanding and feeling for people and it has been a good grounding for this business."

In 1985, Michael shot to national fame with his recording of The Veil of White Lace.

"I had an album almost completed and I just decided to add this song in at the last minute," recalled Michael.

"The song became a huge favourite on the radio and really launched my career."

Today, Michael and his wife Philomena McGovern, right, from Cavan continue to enjoy much popularity on the circuit at home and abroad.

Their brand new single, Our Wedding Day, was written by Mary O'Brien from Longford. A new album of duets is due for release later in the summer.

The booming overseas market has also been a Godsend for them.

"We have done a few shows in Spain with Gerry Flynn of Enjoy Travel. It's a whole new market that no one could have envisaged a decade ago," said Michael.

In February, 2006, Michael and Philomena are booked for Gertie Byrne's Caribbean seven day cruise out of New York.

"This will be our seventh year doing this cruise. The ship is 12 stories high and there's in the region of 2,000 passengers and a crew of 700.

"Mary D'Arcy is the booking agent for Ireland and England. I understand the February tour is already sold out. It's quite incredible."

Others on this Caribbean tour include Dominic Kirwan, Tony Kenny, Brendan Grace, Mick Foster, Irish Sopranos, Ann Breen, Mac and O, John McNally, Michael English, The Showband Show, Tom Healy, Four Courts Ceili Bands, New York Showband, Dublin City Ramblers, Mick Flavin, Brendan Shine, Sean Wilson, Declan Neary, Patrick Feeney, Dermot Hegarty, Nicky Kealy, PJ Murrihy, Seamus Shannon, Kieran McGilligan and George Casey.

"We love the music scene and meeting people.

"The country circuit has been very good to us. It's the music we love and what we do best," added Michael.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 23, 2005
Words:388
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