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Holy Show......Fr Ger Fitzgerald of Cloughleigh, and local musician Jason Hagger, who are organising a Concert Of Hope And Remembrance in Cloughleigh Community Centre on December 6th at 7.45pm, to raise funds for a memorial to loved ones who have passed on in the Ennis area. Performing on the night will be Kieran Goss and his wife Annie Kinsella, The Citizens, Siobhan Peoples and Damien Gormley. Photograph by John Kelly

Kieran Goss for Cloughleigh concert of remembrance

THE tragic loss of a number of people in the Cloughleigh area of Ennis this year has been the inspiration for the holding of a special concert of remembrance next month.
Acclaimed singer / songwriter Kieran Goss will be the headline act for the concert in Cloughleigh Community Centre on December 6 which will also feature his wife Annie Kinsella, Damien Gormley, Siobhan Peoples and band The Citizens.
The event, billed as a Concert of Remembrance and Hope
has been organised by Fr Ger Fitzgerald along with a group of locals who knew many of those who have passed away. Proceeds from the event will be used to create a memorial to be erected outside Cloughleigh church.
Fr Ger explained, “We have experienced in the last year or so a lot of people, young people in particular, that have passed away for one reason or another. We wanted to come up with something to honour their memory, to honour the friends we have had, family members we have lost. To just show that the bonds of love and friendship and affection are there and always will be.”
Jason Hagger, who lives in the area and performs with The Citizens told us, “I grew up on the road with most of these lads, and girls, that passed away. For me, it’s very important that people remember them. Playing the music at the gig is just an aside for me, the main thing for me is to remember them because in today’s society people get lost and forget. And it’s easy to do that.”
Coming up with the idea was Bernard Flaherty and along with Jason, his brother Wayne and Fr Ger they have been working hard to make it a reality.
According to Bernard, there has been a lot of positive support for the idea locally. “We’ve lost four or five people from the area already this year. I was speaking to one person whose brother passed away not too long ago and he thinks it’s a brilliant idea. Another lady who buried her son not long ago told me she’s over the moon over it. There are a lot of families who have lost someone and the idea of this is just to give a bit of hope.”
Recalling how they managed to secure their high profile headline act Fr Ger said, “I was listening to one of his songs and just thought he would be good. I emailed his management, and he himself replied to me. A few phone calls and it was sorted. It just goes to show that it doesn’t hurt to take a chance. And he has agreed to waive his fee which is amazing.”
While the important thing for Jason is to remember his friends, he is looking forward to getting on stage with his new band. The musician has performed in bands for more than 20 years, most notably with local band Skazz who played at events such as Electric Picnic and the Cork Jazz Festival.
“Skazz just kind of fizzled out. Then me and my brother Wayne decided to put something together again and, there’s an ex member of Skazz involved. It’s like the Commitments to be honest above in the house with people calling over.”
Though the idea behind the concert is a serious one, the organisers are promising a fun night for everyone to enjoy. Fr Ger emphasised that the event is not just for people from Cloughleigh, or those who have lost someone. “People are welcome to come along to see a great show. We’ll also have prizes on the night. It will be a really good way to kick off the Christmas season,” he insisted.
Tickets will be available from a number of locations throughout Ennis including O’Briens, Heaslips, Munster Tech, Ennis Parish Office and Mary Kelly’s as well as on the door on the night.
Fr Ger added, “Funds raised from this are going towards putting in a memorial to all our family members, friends, relations, all those who have passed away. It will take the form of something like an eternal flame and in the front of it will be a plaque. The details of what will be put on the plaque still have to be decided. The memorial will be put in the yard of the church in Cloughleigh.”
Urging people to come along and support this endeavour he concluded, “This is about uniting the community. To bring people to the one place and let them know that they’re not alone. That there is always hope and there is always someone to look after them.”

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