Co Armaghs Songbird Gets Board Irish Show Cruise 2010

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Madden's 'Songbird' Catherine Grimley has bagged a booking on board the Cruise118 Irish Show Cruise after winning Northern Ireland's U Factor competition.


The 25-year old beat off six other finalists at the Grand Final of the U Factor competition on Thursday to bag herself £10,000 cash, plus a place on board Cruise118's Irish Show Cruise.


Catherine stole the U Factor Armagh regional final back in December 2009 with 'Feels Like Home' in which she received a standing ovation from the audience.  She then wowed judges at the final with Sarah McLaughlin's 'Angel' and Carrie Underwood's 'Just a Dream' to walk away the U Factor title. director Mal Barritt judged the grand final with Michael Magill (from Michael Magill Entertainments, promoters of the competition), Paul McKenna of radio fame, Jackie Owens (Arts Director of Ardhowen Theatres) and representatives from sponsors Toyota, The Sunday World newspaper and U105 radio.


150 people from Co Armagh came along to the final at the Europa Hotel to support the singing sensation.'s Irish Show Cruise stars The Chevys, James Peake, Susan McCann and The Benn Sisters, judged regional finals of the competition.  The Benn Sisters described Catherine as 'a real contender' in the competition.


Following the competition, The Chevys, The Benn Sisters and other acts will join Catherine, setting sail on the special cruise, which departs from Dublin on November 11th 2010.


Catherine comments: "I can't believe that I have won this prestigious prize, it's very surreal to hear your name called out as the winner.  Although the final involved me singing at my best with such high standard performances from the other counties, I certainly owe a massive thank you to all those who supported me throughout the competition!


I'm over the moon that I won the U Factor; it truly has been an amazing experience with the icing on the cake to come in November when I'll be performing alongside Ireland's top entertainers! Many of my family and friends have all booked onto the Irish Show Cruise so it should make some great memories for me".


Mal Barritt, director of comments: "The U Factor search kicked off in September 2009, to unearth the very best home-grown talent, I think we've found outstanding talent in Catherine.  I'm thrilled that myself and members of our stunning Irish Show Cruise line-up have been part of this exciting competition. 


"We'll look forward to Catherine's fantastic performances on board the Cruise118 Irish Show Cruise this November!"


Michael Magillof Michael Magill Entertainments, said: "The U Factor competition has certainly found the best talent Northern Ireland has to offer, and it has been a great journey.  Catherine is a very deserving winner; she blew us all away with her two performances at the final. 


I'm sure she will have the time of her life on board the Irish Show Cruise with Ireland's top entertainers, and I thank Cruise118 for offering the booking as part of the U Factor prize."


Featuring other huge Irish entertainment stars including the internationally acclaimed Irish dance troupe Celtic Rhythm Dancers, comedian Conal Gallen, country star, Susan McCann, top country artist Robert Mizzell,  and Ireland's Queen of Country Music, Philomena Begley, the cruise offers an unmissable line-up for Irish music and entertainment fans.


Guests will be able to enjoy the superb facilities of the world class Fred Olsen Boudicca cruise ship, complete with six different dining options, pool deck and Atlantic Spa, whilst enjoying jam-packed shows every evening showcasing the best of Irish talent.


The nine-night cruise is exclusively available through  Departing from Dublin, the ship calls at La Coruna, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Vigo and finally Cobh in County Cork before returning to Dublin after nine nights of sailing.


For more information on the Irish Show Cruise, visit or call 0289 002 0094 (for NI) or 01 553 0100 (for ROI)





Notes to editors:


About Cruise 118


  • Cruise118 is an independent cruise retailer offering the full range of cruise holidays
  • The company has three niche brands, and
  • Cruise118 is the exclusive provider of cruise holidays to
  • Cruise118's team of cruise concierges provide each customer with an individually tailored service. The company's independent status means customers receive the  best deals and advice when choosing and booking their cruise
  • Bookings available via telephone, internet and email
  • Cruise118 is committed to providing exceptional customer service as standard
  • Cruise118 is ABTA bonded, offering customers complete peace of mind