Wayne Brennan was awarded the 2012 RAAP/RTÉ Radio Breakthrough Bursary last night in the traditional/folk category, picking up a cheque for €5,000 which was presented by John Creedon.
The song Roots in these Lands was commissioned earlier this year by Offaly County Council as part of a series of recent artistic projects relating to the Grand Canal.
Wayne was one of three artists on a barge on the Grand Canal making a documentary about how artists can be inspired by such a journey and setting; the film A Grand Experience is scheduled for viewing on RTE this autumn. Earlier this summer Brennan also won the Sean McCarthy Ballad Contest in Listowel with the same song.
The winners were announced during a live concert featuring all twelve finalists on Radio 1 last night. The concert is now available to stream online via the RTÉ Radio Player. The winning acts will each receive £5000 in prize money and airplay during RTÉ Big Music Week this October.
The competition, which was launched in Dublin in June by official supporters Christy Moore and Ryan Sheridan, is divided into four categories encompassing different genres giving a broad spectrum of musicians a chance of winning.
The hundreds of entries were judged by a panel which included Mary Black, Fiachna Ó Braonáin Hothouse Flowers, Ciarán Tourish of Altan, Gerry O’Connor, Eamonn Lenihan, and Niall Carroll.
Wayne, who recently moved to Spain, was overwhelmed by the response to the news last week. The song is available to download on iTunes and will be available soon as a single.