Sell-out show helps Deirdre on the road to recovery

A sell-out concert at Cork’s City Hall has helped to raise vital funds towards the recovery from a stroke of Evening Echo reporter Deirdre O’Reilly, herself a champion fundraiser for charity.

Sell-out show helps Deirdre on the road to recovery

The mother of two young girls is undergoing intensive rehabilitation after suffering a stroke just days before Christmas.

Colleagues at the Evening Echo organised last night’s event, where the audience was treated to entertainment by a host of local and varied musical talent.

Among those taking to the stage were sopranos Cara O’Sullivan and Mary Hegarty, the Cork School of Music Big Jazz Band, and the Cork Garda Male Voice Choir. The bill also featured Evelyn Grant and Gerry Kelly, jazz singer Karen Underwood, the Barrack Street Band, and St Finbarr’s Pipe Band.

Fionn O’Reilly, Deirdre’s daughters Hannah and Maggie O’Reilly-France, and Grace O’Reilly

“Deirdre has done so much fundraising herself through the years with the Echo, and there are loads of people here from organisations she has helped, including Friends of Marymount Hospice who are volunteering at the show,” said colleague Ann Murphy.

She and fellow Evening Echo staff John McHale and Brian Lougheed organised the event, and all were delighted with the support. “We were getting calls right through the weekend looking for tickets, they were that much in demand. It’s a sign of the love and affection for Deirdre, across the city and county,” said Ann.

Deirdre’s sister Mary O’Reilly and cousin Margo O’Reilly

Cork City’s Lord Mayor Cllr Catherine Clancy was among the guests, and spoke on the City Hall stage, having already helped last month to launch the event for the Bandon woman.

And while Deirdre could not be in attendance as she continues her rehabilitation in Dublin, her daughters Maggie, 7, and Hannah, 6, conveyed her gratitude with a presentation to some of the performers. Other family members in attendance included Deirdre’s father Michael and brothers and sisters, including brother Barry who flew home from New York for the event.

The money raised last night will go towards funding the 43-year-old’s rehabilitation and adaptations to her house, ahead of her planned return home in June.

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