Getting in tune for ‘A concert for Dee’

A major fundraising concert is to be held for a mother of two children who helped collect €1m for various charities but who now needs help herself after suffering a debilitating stroke.

Getting in tune  for ‘A concert for Dee’

Details of a concert to benefit Evening Echo journalist Deirdre O’Reilly were unveiled by Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Catherine Clancy yesterday. She is providing City Hall as the venue.

It will take place on Easter Sunday, April 20, at 8pm.

Those taking part include sopranos Cara O’Sullivan and Mary Hegarty, the Cork School of Music Jazz Big Band, Evelyn Grant and Gerry Kelly, Karen Underwood, the Cork Garda Male Voice Choir, the Barrack Street Band, St Finbarr’s Pipe Band, and All-Ireland Drama Festival winners Kilmeen Drama Group. Deirdre is a member of Kilmeen Drama Group.

All of them are giving their time free of charge to help the Bandon journalist.

One of the main organisers, Evening Echo pictures editor Brian Lougheed, said Deirdre, who has two daughters, suffered a massive stroke in her sleep two days before Christmas.

As a result, she has speech difficulties, memory loss, and is paralysed on her right-hand side.

Mr Lougheed said the 43-year-old will require intensive rehabilitation over the coming months and her home will have to be adapted to cater for her needs.

He said her colleagues, who are organising the fundraiser, had received calls of support from all over the county and the concert would be one of several events to raise money to pay for her further treatment.

Mr Lougheed pointed out that Deirdre was, for 15 years, the driving force in the Evening Echo’s Christmas charity appeals and had helped raise over €1m during that time for a host of worthy causes.

Deirdre’s brother Liam said her family were “overwhelmed” by the messages of support, while Ms Clancy said it was only the start of events which she hoped “would ensure the best outcome for Deirdre”.

Tickets are on sale now and cost €30 for the balcony area and €20 for general seating.

They can be purchased from the Irish Examiner/Evening Echo office at 80 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork City.

They can also be booked from Brian at 087 8136639, John at 086 2958705, and Ann at 087 7981226.

Meanwhile, a trust fund has been set up for Deirdre in the Permanent TSB branch in Bandon.

Bank account name: Deirdre O’Reilly Trust Fund. Sort code: 990719. A/C no: 22675793BIK: IPBSIE2D. IBAN: IE54IPBS99071922675793

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