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Dublin: 24 °C Monday 22 July, 2019
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Parents of Toy Show Domhnall ‘proud as punch’ after night to remember

The young football fan from Galway met his hero, Robbie Keane on the Late Late Show on Friday.

Robbie Keane poses with Domhnall O'Confhaola backstage at the Toy Show.
Robbie Keane poses with Domhnall O'Confhaola backstage at the Toy Show.
Image: Peadar O'Confhaola via Facebook

THE PHONES HAVE finally stopped ringing and the replay of the Toy Show has been watched. Domhnall O’Confhaola’s life is returning to normal but he will be asked several times at school, tomorrow, to tell the tale of his meeting with Robbie Keane.

The Galway lad stole the Late Late Toy Show with his genuine, touching reaction to meeting his footballing idol Robbie Keane.

The eight-year-old was waxing lyrical, to host Ryan Tubridy, about computer games and Ireland’s chances for Euro 2016 when the country’s leading goalscorer hobbled onto the set on crutches. He was temporarily speechless but regained his composure to asked Keane some decent questions about his career and footballing prospects.

TheScore.ie caught up with Domhnall’s father, Peadar to ask if his son had returned to earth yet after a Toy Show to remember. “Domhnall’s appearance has gone down a hit,” he said, “and we’ve been chasing our tails all weekend, with phone calls and cousins looking to get the full story.”

YouTube credit: RTÉ

O’Confhaola made it onto the show after sending along an audition tape to RTÉ. “He likes geography too so had a map of the world and spoke about what players play for what countries and the flags of each country. He’s a big fan of the Match Attack cards so he brought along a scatter of them to talk about.”

A keen GAA and football player, Domhnall was delighted when he learned he would be reviewing a computer game on the annual toy showcase. He travelled up to Dublin with his father and mother, Bríd. The parents watched the show, and their son’s memorable moments, from the RTÉ green room. Peadar said:

We had an idea that Robbie might be making an appearance but we didn’t say it to himself. We didn’t let on as there was no point building up the ladeen just in case Robbie couldn’t make it. The way Domhnall handled himself and reacted after the initial shock [of seeing Keane] was fantastic. We were proud as punch.”

The Irish captain took time out to pose for a picture with his young fan backstage and speak further with him about sport. Since returning home, the O’Confhaola family have fielded calls from friends, family and neighbours, with long distance conversations with beaming relatives in Dubai and New Zealand.

“It has been surreal and I don’t think the reality has hit Domhnall yet. He has taken everything in his stride, though, and I’m sure he’ll be busy in school tomorrow,” said Peadar.

Ireland do not play another international match until a home friendly with Serbia next March. Keane will be hoping to feature after recently coming through surgery on his Achilles’ tendons. The eight-year-old and his proud father are hoping for another trip to Dublin to cheer him, and Ireland, on.

Watch again: Domhnall meets hero Robbie Keane in amazing Toy Show moment

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Patrick McCarry

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