Niall Breslin, known as Bressie, is an Irish musician and former Westmeath Gaelic footballer. He 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 has appeared on television as a coach on The Voice of Ireland and as an iron-man athlete in his documentary series Ironmind.
Before the rock and roll lifestyle won him over, Breslin represented his native county team, Westmeath, in Gaelic football at Minor, Under-21 and Senior Championship levels. He won a Leinster Under-21 Football Championship medal with Westmeath in 2000. He was also a professional rugby player with Leinster Rugby, played rugby under scolarship in UCD and also represented Ireland at Under 21 level in the World Cup.
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 took a sabbatical in 2009 at which point Breslin made a move to London and joined Simon Fuller’s XIX Entertainment as a songwriter and producer. In 2011 he released his first solo album, Colourblind Stereo.
In 2012, he was a coach on the inaugural season of The Voice of Ireland, mentoring the winner, Pat Byrne. He would continue to work as a coach on the show until it concluded in 2016 with a further 2 winners to his name.
His work in the area of mental health education and empowerment began during his time on The Voice Of Ireland after his own struggles with anxiety led him to open up publicly on the issue. His ‘My1000Hours’ blog and training initiatives set out to explore positive and proactive ways of improving emotional fitness and managing mental stress. This led to him setting up the website A Lust For Life.
His first book ‘Me and My Mate Jeffrey’ was published in 2015, going on to win the Irish Book Award for popular non-fiction. Later that year, he reformed The Blizzards and went back into the studio to work on new music.
In 2017, Breslin received an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons’ Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, the highest they can bestow, in recognition of his contribution to mental health advocacy.