Saturday, September 17, 2016

Brave ladies lose hair for cancer care funds

For lads it is no more than a badge of bravado, but for a woman to have her hair shaved off when she doesn't need to do so is something that takes extraordinary bravery, writes Brian Byrne.

And that's why I am headlining Riggy Reid and Trish Fanning, instead of the legendary local and national musicians who performed, in this report of last night's event in The Spout which raised always needed funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

Because, brave as both women were, the tears which each of them couldn't hold back as they watched their shaved hair fall around them were real, and inevitable. They were tears of a fulfilled commitment to a cause, because what they were doing raised a lot of money, but that didn't make the experience any easier. Both women were entitled to cry. And those of us watching the affair were bound to do so too, if we had any sense of humanity at all.

So the Diary salutes Riggy and Trish particularly for what was otherwise in itself an extraordinarily successful night. Jimmy Aspell put together an event which brought to Kilcullen the rock and soul maestro Brush Shiels. But masterful as Brush is, he was only part of a seriously colourful palette of musical talent which included Jimmy himself, the enormously brilliant local band Badge, and the ultimately professional contribution both in performance and sound management of Kilcullen man Shane McGrath's Harlequin. And Spout co-proprietor Tommy Dignam also took his own very competent turn at the microphone.

The music through the evening was essentially a classic rock and country experience which was fabulously enjoyable. It was always going to be so. But we also need to acknowledge the other 'Shave or Dye' contributors to the night. The regulars of The Spout who offered themselves up to the shears and the dye pots included, for the former, Charlie Browne, Noel O'Connell, Tom Lambe, Patsy Clarke and Niall Doran. Jessie Allen, Tadgh Shanahan and Shay Pembroke allowed their own crowning glories to be dyed, with no say in what the colour might be. That will make for some interesting comments over the next days.

"I think it's going to be the best of these nights that we've had yet," Jimmy Aspell told me in advance of the latest of his events which have already raised more than €20,000 for the ICS.

And it was. What Jimmy has established over the last number of years should be continued. Not just because of Jimmy and what his music has contributed to the cause, but also for the community to share the kind of brave commitment which Riggy and Trish showed us last night.

Let's show that we're proud of all of them.

All the Diary's pictures from the night are here.