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Old friends’ concert reaps rich rewards for a most deserving cause

Three great friends, Iomar Barrett, Chris Kelly and Proinsias Kitt, held a fantastic traditional and variety concert in the Town Hall Theatre in late March when they were joined by a host of family and friends, both onstage and off for a sold-out event that raised €16,147 for COPE Galway.

The occasion was the launch of a new CD of traditional music and airs from Iomar, titled Sweet Mountbellew Town.

The CD of Iomar’s compositions was produced by Chris who is also from Mountbellew, while their lifelong friend from neighbouring Caltra, Proinsias, was a guest on the album.

Mindful of the homeless crisis in Galway, they decided the album launch at the Town Hall would be a fundraiser for COPE.

They were joined onstage by an array of top-class musicians, singers and dancers, all of whom gave their time and talents for free.

They included Máirtín O’ Connor, who officially launched the CD, outlining some of Iomar’s influences, which included his late father,  P.V. Barrett and his mother Phil, both accomplished musicians.

The family owned Barrett’s Ballroom, an iconic music and dance venue, and Iomar was exposed to a wide variety of musical styles from a young age.

Renowned musician and composer Máirtín pointed out that they were both taught accordion by the late Tommy Mulhaire.

Performances at the launch concert were top quality and all to support COPE, the local charity which works with homeless people, women affected by domestic abuse, and older people.

Other performers included Maureen Fahy (fiddle),

Yvonne Fahy (percussion/accordion/ whistles), Eilish Egan (accordion), Áine Sheridan (harp), Colm Henry (keyboards), John Wynne and Patsy Hanley (flutes), Eamonn Kitt (guitar and vocals), Don Stiffe (guitar and vocals), Bel Canto, Mark Roberts (guitar and vocals), Aidan Tierney (comedian), Eamonn Brady (guitar and vocals)

Dara Kelly (fiddle)

Dancers from Trad on the Prom included Claire Greaney, Ronan O’Connell, Aoife Ní Shé and Silvia Carroll, with Sean Igoe on fiddle and Paddy Dalton on guitar.

Auctioneer Colm O’Donnellan held a single-item quickfire auction which was highly entertaining while raising €2,500.

Afterwards, at a post-concert function in the Town Hall, guests and performers mingled over wine, cheese and light refreshments, at a reception sponsored by J&C Kenny.

Other sponsors included P & S Rhatigan, Trad on the Prom, Mark Roberts and Don Stiffe.

The organisers would like to thank all involved, including Sharon Fitzpatrick of COPE for her help with this fundraiser, as well as Fergal McGrath and all in the Town Hall.

All funds raised will go directly to Cope Galway to help alleviate homelessness.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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