Phil Westwell on the outdoor stage at Mullingar Arts Centre this afternoon.

Phil whistles and it's nothing to do with work

A member of a Comhaltas branch Scotland was performing something a little bit different at Mullingar Arts Centre this afternoon.

He is Phil Westwell from Edinburgh and he was on the outdoor stage with Owen Tierney from the Orkney Islands.

When we saw him, Phil was whistling and despite the gentle nature of the performance, he was holding the attention of the audience and passers-by.

Phil and Owen family links in Tipperary and Cavan respectively, and they’re here to compete in the Fleadh Cheoil.

“I’ve been whistling since I was very young,” said Phil, “and I started doing the competitions about seven years ago.

“A friend in Glasgow, Davy Johnston, put me on to the competitions – he does them as well. So I entered, I did ok the first few years, got runner-up the first year, and just kept at it, and I’ve really enjoyed whistling.”

Phil is a member of the Johnny Doherty (Motherwell) branch of Comhaltas and he has qualified for the All-Ireland over 18s whistling, which is on Saturday at 3 o’clock.