A Derrygonnelly farmer is vying to become Ireland’s next Country Music star on the new series of Glór Tíre, broadcast earlier this week on the Republic's Irish-language station, TG4.

Karl Kirkpatrick, 30, from Fermanagh, is continuing a family tradition, joining his Country singer cousin and former contestant, Rachel McConnell, in the Country music scene.

He said: "Country music was always a big thing in our house, growing up.

"My uncle has his own wee band, and my mother would have been big into singing."

The aspiring star is one of eight contestants in the 20th season of TG4’s long-running hit music series.

Impartial Reporter: Karl Kirkpatrick is vying to become Ireland’s next Country Music star on the new series of Glór

He made his appearance on the second episode, broadcast earlier this week on Tuesday, March 19.

Mr. Kirkpatrick added: "It’s a big surprise to be on the show! I never thought I’d be here doing this."

He started out in the music scene through Paul Kelly from Pettigo, who became a good friend and mentor.

For his appearance on Glór Tíre, Mr. Kirkpatrick performed two songs, 'We’ll Get Ahead Someday', and 'Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff'.

The latter is a well-loved tune among Irish Country fans, known from Jimmy Buckley's version.

Mr. Kirkpatrick said: "Jimmy has been a fan of mine for as long as I can remember, and he’s been a great support to me over the years."

For his performance, he was being coached by Claudia Buckley, Jimmy’s daughter, and an Irish Country music star herself.

Balancing farming responsibilities alongside his music career, Mr. Kirkpatrick sees this opportunity as a significant career boost.

Speaking ahead of his episode's broadcast, he said: “It’s going to be a great boost, career-wise. We’ll see what happens afterwards. I haven’t thought that far ahead yet."

He dueted with Claudia on 'Forty Miles From Poplar Bluff', and the episode saw them performing alongside Donegal singer Jason McCahill - another contestant mentored by Claudia.

Judges on the episode include RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta’s Jó Ní Chéide, and Caitriona Ní Shuilleabháin, with guest judge, Trudi Lalor (RSVP Country).

The episode is available to watch on the TG4 player.