A CORK woman has been crowned Ireland’s funniest person, just three months after making her stand-up comedy debut.
Sinéad Quinlan from Carrignavar beat off stiff competition from two other female and a male comic to win the "Stand-up and be Funny" contest over RTÉ’s Ray D'Arcy Show.
Incredibly, the 26-year-old only turned her hand to stand-up last October, after she was discovered by Irish comedy troupe The Hardy Bucks.
Sinéad works for Cork Simon Community but was spotted by the comedy trio during a health and fitness event in Cork where she was giving a talk.
Impressed by her performing skills and comic timing, they encouraged Quinlan to take her talents further by serving as a warm-up act at an upcoming Cork comedy show.
— The Ray D'Arcy Show (@RTERayDarcyShow) December 8, 2019
Sinéad’s debut set at the Wonky Donkey Comedy Club proved a success and prompted Quinlan to pursue more gigs and eventually enter the "Stand-up and be Funny" contest.
Having already advanced from the competition's Munster Heat earlier in November, Sinead has now taken the top prize having completed just nine performances.
A judging panel featuring Barry Murphy, Emma Doran and Darren Smith had the final say on the night with Quinlan beating Justine Stafford from Co Meath, Jasmin Gleeson from Co Dublin and Michael Rice from Co Kilkenny to take top spot.
Speaking to the Cork Echo, Quinlan was full of praise for the event’s organisers and the “other fantastic comedians” competing on the night.
“I’m thrilled to have won and so grateful to RTÉ for giving me such an amazing opportunity,” she said.
— The Ray D'Arcy Show (@RTERayDarcyShow) December 7, 2019
Sinéad took home a €1,000 in cash for wining "Stand-up and be Funny" but this won’t be the last Ireland sees of her.
As part of the prize for winning the contest, she is also being given the chance to develop a comedy pilot with RTÉ Online.
Watch this space.