Niall Breslin

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Niall Breslin
The Blizzards.JPG
Bressie with The Blizzards at Junction 7.08, June 2008
Background information
Birth nameNiall Breslin
Born (1980-10-22) 22 October 1980 (age 38)
Artane, Dublin, Ireland
GenresSoft rock, pop
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, television personality, former footballer
InstrumentsGuitar, drums, piano
LabelsSony Music
Associated actsThe Blizzards
Brendan McCahey Michael Bohan
Niall Breslin
Date of birth (1980-10-22) 22 October 1980 (age 38)
Place of birthArtane, Dublin
Height1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)[1]
Weight100 kg (15 st 10 lb)[2]
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker, Second row
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2002-04 Leinster 14 (0)
Correct as of 06 May 2015

Niall Breslin (born 22 October 1980), known as Bressie, is an Irish musician and former Westmeath Gaelic footballer and Leinster Rugby player. Breslin found success as the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter with pop band The Blizzards, as a co-writer and producer with XIX Entertainment and as a solo artist. He was the winning coach on the first and third seasons of The Voice of Ireland.


Early life[edit]

Born in Dublin to father Enda and mother Mandy, Breslin is the second youngest of five children,[3] including siblings Ronan, Laura, Julie and Andrea.[4] At the age of two, he and his family moved to Mullingar. As a result of Enda's military deployment when Bressie was 13, the family relocated to Israel for five months.[5] They then returned to Mullingar, where he discovered a love and talent for sports as well as music.[5]

Breslin attended University College Dublin on a sports scholarship, graduating with a degree in commerce.[6]

Sports career[edit]

Breslin represented his native county team, Westmeath, in Gaelic football at Minor, and U-21 Championship levels.[7] He won a Leinster Under-21 Football Championship medal with Westmeath in 2000. He was also a professional rugby player with Leinster Rugby.[8][9] He had a scholarship in UCD for rugby and also represented Ireland at Under-21 level in the World Cup.[9]

Writing career[edit]

In 2015, Breslin published his first book Me and My Mate Jeffrey, a combination memoir/self-help book. "Jeffrey" is a personification of Breslin's anxiety disorder.[10] The book won the 2015 Irish Book Award for popular non fiction.[11]

Music career[edit]

The Blizzards[edit]

With childhood friends, Breslin formed The Blizzards in 2004. They released two albums that achieved commercial success, A Public Display of Affection in 2006 and Domino Effect in 2008. The band split up in 2009.[12] Following the band's split, Breslin joined Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment as a songwriter and producer in 2010.[12]

Solo career[edit]

In 2011, Breslin released a solo album, Colourblind Stereo. Four singles were released from the album. During a performance at the Festival of Fires in Westmeath on 5 May 2012, Bressie urged thousands of fans to vote against the government coalition of Fine Gael/Labour, saying before leaving the stage “I don’t normally do politics, but this Government is an awful bollocks. I want to make an appeal to all you people out there. Don't make the same mistakes we did by voting them in again.”[13] Though one of Ireland's most in-demand stars, he has stated that he eschews the celebrity lifestyle and has no interest in “the bulls**t that comes hand in hand with fame and celebrity”.[14]

In 2012, he was a coach on the inaugural season of The Voice of Ireland,[15] mentoring the winner, Pat Byrne.[16][17][18][19]

Through the end of 2012, Breslin began work on his second solo album. On 29 January 2013, he announced via Twitter that the album would be called "Rage and Romance" with an expected release in April 2013.[20] On 30 January 2013, the first single entitled, "Show Me Love" was given initial radio airplay with a projected release date on 22 March 2013.[21]

A music video was filmed for Show Me Love, featuring Moone Boy actors David Rawle and Ian O'Reilly. In 2014 Breslin appeared on the second series of Moone Boy as a PE Teacher - his first acting role.

In January 2014, Breslin announced putting his solo career as a recording artist on hold, with the intention to focus on his work as a judge on The Voice of Ireland and writing and producing music.[22]

Personal life[edit]

In late March 2013, Breslin opened up on his blog about his struggles with Generalized anxiety disorder.[23] Having experienced a severe panic attack on a live show taping during the first season of The Voice of Ireland, Breslin sought professional help and ultimately decided to manage his anxiety by adopting a more active lifestyle. He began training for a triathlon, in support of Lakelands Area Retreat & Cancer Centre (LARCC),[24] a foundation on which his mother serves as director.[25]

Breslin is also an ambassador for Cycle Against Suicide (CAS),[26] an organisation that seeks to raise awareness and bring support to those dealing with mental health issues. In April and May 2013, Breslin participated as a cyclist with CAS, in a series of legs around Ireland, stopping at local schools to give mental health-related talks and also he was dating Miss Universe Ireland 2010 Rozanna Purcell.[27]


Studio albums
Year Album Title Peak chart positions
2011 Colourblind Stereo 8[28]
2013 Rage and Romance 1
Year Song Peak chart positions Album
2011 "Can't Stay Young Forever" 9 - Colourblind Stereo
"Good Intentions" 36 - Colourblind Stereo
2012 "Breaking My Fall" 14 - Colourblind Stereo
2013 "Show Me Love" 53 - Rage and Romance
2013 "Silence Is Your Saviour" - - Rage and Romance
Guest appearances


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Borrill, Rachel. "Why Bressie is the man of the moment". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  4. ^ Breslin, Niall (2011). Colourblind Stereo CD insert. Sony Music Entertainment (Ireland).
  5. ^ a b Finn, Melanie. "From rugby jock to rock star... how Bressie became the hottest man on TV". Evening Herald. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  6. ^ O'Regan, Nadine (September 2011). "My Bressie Interview". The Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  7. ^ "Q&A: Niall Breslin". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2008.
  8. ^ "Niall "Bressie" Breslin - Personally Speaking Bureau". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Striking the right note after injuries force rethink on rugby career". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  10. ^ O’Sullivan, Eoghan. "Book review: Me and My Mate Jeffrey". Irish Examiner. Irish Examiner Ltd. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Me and My Mate Jeffrey". Irish Book Awards. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  12. ^ a b Cummins, Steve (11 December 2009). "The Blizzards: The last waltz?". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  13. ^ "Bressie attacks government at gig". 6 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  14. ^ McCall, Barry (5 July 2012). "There's no time like Bressie time". The Sun. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  15. ^ Finn, Melanie (28 October 2011). "Bressie's in the hotseat in search for the Voice". Evening Herald. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  16. ^ "Pat Byrne wins The Voice of Ireland". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  17. ^ Sweeney, Ken (1 May 2012). "'Voice' winner Pat Byrne to bring party home to Borris, Co Carlow". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  18. ^ Sweeney, Ken (30 April 2012). "Teacher Pat Byrne chalks up 'Voice' victory, but Bressie a winner too". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  19. ^ "Pat Byrne wins The Voice of Ireland". 98FM. Communicorp – owned by Denis O'Brien. 30 April 2012. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  20. ^ Breslin, Niall. "Twitter, Rage and Romance". Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  21. ^ Breslin, Niall. "Show Me Love, Radio release". Twitter. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  22. ^ McBride, Caitlin. "Bressie reveals he is ending his solo career for the 'foreseeable future'".
  23. ^ Breslin, Niall. "You Get What You Pay For When Silence Is Your Saviour".
  24. ^ "LARRC".[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "LARRC Fundraiser". Archived from the original on 15 June 2013.
  26. ^ "Cycle Against Suicide".
  27. ^ "Bressie gets on his bike to cycle against suicide".
  28. ^ " Colorblind Stereo chart performance". Retrieved 31 May 2012.

External links[edit]