The Big Gig, Cairde Seán Henry: A celebration of friendship and life
The inaugural Cairde concert, in memory of Portumna publican Seán Henry, will take place on Sunday, October 6th from 4pm in the Clayton Hotel, Galway. The fundraising concert is a celebration of friendship and life, with Ireland’s top traditional musicians and singers joining together in aid of Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity, and Cancer Care West. Performers include Frankie Gavin, Joanie Madden and Cherish the Ladies, Seán Keane, Matt Keane, Mary Bergin, Jimmy Crowley, Eileen O’Brien, Anne Conroy, Seán Gavin, John Faulkner, and many more.
Traditional music was a huge part of Seán’s life and this concert is a continuation of Seán’s unrelenting support of the West. The special Cairde charity CD will be available for purchase on the night, originally released by Seán in 2002 with the support of Anne Conroy and Joe Burke. The Cairde CD features 22 tracks from some of Ireland’s finest, including Matt Malloy, Frankie Gavin, Mary Staunton, Tommy Peoples, Seán Maguire to name a few, and all friends of Seán.
“Seán loved life and music, and he wanted to reissue the CD to raise money for the West, but his health during the last few years of his life didn’t allow this. So I decided that I would do this for him, by organising a traditional concert in Galway and reissuing this great CD,” says Jody Henry.
Seán was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1998. He survived the cancer and non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma during the following 18 years, but the treatment damaged his heart, leading to heart failure. Seán passed away five days after open heart surgery in Galway in November 2017. The concert and sales from the CD are in aid of Croí, the Heart and Stroke Charity, and Cancer Care West, raising much needed funds to lead the fight against heart disease and cancer in the West of Ireland.
Advances in treatment have led to improved survival of patients with cancer, but side effects from the treatment can have direct effects on heart function and structure. Heart disease and heart failure as a consequence of previous cancer treatment is a complex issue. Croí’s work in the community aims to raise awareness of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and screen for early detection. “We are so grateful and honoured to have been chosen as one of the charity partners for this event as it will allow us to raise awareness and continue lifesaving prevention work in the West,” says Christine Flanagan, Croí’s Fundraising Director.
Expressing her appreciation to everyone involved, Orla Cunniffe of Cancer Care West says, “This is a wonderful tribute to Seán and we would like to thank Seán’s wife Jody and the many musicians that will be performing on the night. Funds raised will go towards helping meet the costs of residential and cancer support services at Cancer Care West, which are provided free of charge to cancer patients and their families. People in our community are affected by cancer every day, directly or indirectly through a loved one. Our vision is that no-one should have to go through a cancer experience alone, and everything we do has this vision in mind.”
Event page: croi.ie/cairdeconcert
Find out more about the two charities by visiting their websites at www.croi.ie and www.cancercarewest.ie.