X Factor's Mary Byrne bows out with dignity
X Factor check-out girl Mary Byrne was beaten but unbowed after reaching the end of her unlikely prime time adventure.
And she will return to her hometown of Ballyfermot in Dublin as a real hero, despite the crushing disappointment of being voted off the show last night by the celebrity judges.
One of the checkout worker's bosses in Tesco, manager Annie Dowling, was among those left crying into a pint at Ms Byrne's local.
"We are so proud of Mary. We are so disappointed at what happened," she said, surrounded by fans at Downey's pub.
"She is capable of going much further. We had a fantastic six to eight weeks and people were coming into the store to support her.
"We will be doing something to mark her homecoming."
Anne Farrelly, team leader at Tesco insisted the 51-year-old had a bright future ahead.
"If it had gone to a public vote she would have got through,"she said.
"But I think she will do better than the person that wins it. She'll sell millions of records."
The popular mother-of-one struggled with a cold last week, and it told in Saturday night's performances.
Last night, her worst fears were confirmed as she finished bottom of the polls and exited after a sing-out against Cher.
"I've come further than I could ever have dreamed," she told the Irish Independent.
Ms Byrne performed 'It's a Man's World' last night before leaving the judges with the decision on who to save.
"The 'X Factor' has been incredible for me. I'm going back to Dublin with a smile on my face, knowing myself and my daughter will have a better life," she said.
An estimated one million people around Ireland watched the programme on TV3.
Meanwhile, Dublin City Councillor Aodhan O Riordan said he would be calling for a civic reception for Ms Byrne at tonight's council meeting.
Source Irish Independent