Gort Cancer Support Group will host the Vicky Phelan Campaign and Portrait Tour in Gort, in conjunction with the Lady Gregory Hotel, next week.
The triptych portrait, painted by the renowned Irish artist, Vincent Devine, was inspired by Vicky Phelan’s incredible courage.
Measuring an impressive 150 x 300 cms, Vicky Phelan’s life is conveyed as the past, present and future with the backdrop of Doonbeg beach in West Clare, which she described as her favourite place on earth.
Vincent’s aim was to convey the tragedies and the joys in Vicky’s life, through symbolism in the anatomy of her body and different objects.
The portrait was purchased at a charity auction by Vicky’s lifelong friend and fellow Kilkenny native, David Brennan. The two grew up together and their families share a close bond. David wanted to ensure the painting remained close to Vicky’s family and friends.
Vicky was a prominent women’s health advocate prior to her death from cervical cancer in November 2022. She was also a mother, wife, education specialist, cancer patient and justice campaigner.
Best known for her emotionally charged statement from the steps of the Four Courts in April 2018, she unearthed one of the biggest medical and political scandals of our times.
First diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer in 2014, she became a very public figure, championing many causes, lobbying for experimental drug treatment and establishing the 221+ support group, all while fighting her own battle with cancer and caring for her family.
Vicky was a hugely inspirational figure and David is keeping her extraordinary legacy alive by sharing her story and reminding younger generations of the importance of cervical cancer awareness and that one person can make a difference.
On Friday, September 22, guest speakers and cancer awareness advocates, Sarah Nally and John Wall, will be accompanied by Vicky’s solicitor, Cian O’Carroll, Róisin Ni Chadhla and 221+ members Lorraine Walsh and Caoimhe O’Neill-Forde at the event. Ollie Turner of Galway Bay FM will take up the charge of moderator for the event, which starts at 7pm prompt.
In addition, public viewing of the portrait will take place on Saturday, September 23, with doors open from 10.30am to 1pm in the Lady Gregory Hotel. David Brennan will give a talk on Vicky and unveil the portrait at 11am. All are welcome to attend.
Gort Cancer Support is very proud to be instrumental in bringing this important and inspiring event to Gort. From their centre in Hollyblue House, Gort Cancer Support has been providing supportive services for anyone affected by cancer in the South Galway and North Clare areas for over 16 years.
All services are available by appointment and are provided free of charge to individuals affected by a cancer diagnosis.
The charity has seen an increase in client numbers in the year to date of around 50% as compared to last year and a corresponding increase in the number of services provided.
With very little in the way of State funding, the charity relies mainly on donations and fundraising in order to continue to provide these vital services to those who need them.
For more information on Gort Cancer Support, including how to make a donation, please visit www.gortcancersupport.ie.