Memorial festival for Niamh is a highlight of musical yearJune 28, 2012 - 7:00am
The tragic death of a popular young Ballinakill woman is the impetus behind the biggest music festival being held in Galway this year – which is a celebration of the life of Niamh Monahan and a major fundraiser for Galway Hospice.
Niamh was 29 when she died in June 2010.
Last year her family, longtime school pal Laura Murray, and partner, Senan Drury, bass player in the band Uturn, decided to celebrate her life with a musical celebration. The venue was McCormack’s Bar on Curra Golf Club near Loughrea. What started out as a reasonably small event in McCormack’s Bar at Curra West Golf Course, turned into a major festival as musicians from Galway and further afield lent their support, while the local community got together to organise it.
A total of 5,000 people attended the event last Summer and €25,000 was raised for Galway Hospice, making Curra Fest the charitable organisation’s biggest single donor for the year.
This year’s event – which is on July 1 – will be even bigger, with acts including Furry Village, Amazing Apples, The Deans, Ultan Conlan, Big Generator, J90 and a host more, including Uturn.
“It has really grown legs,” says Eamon Dervan, who is Chairperson of the Curra Fest organising committee, as well as a member of Uturn.
“For the last 10 weeks, we have had committee meetings every week and there have been 25 or 30 people turning up to every one of them.
“Niamh was a very popular girl and her family’s life has been completely changed by her death. But they and Senan decided to celebrate her life rather than mourning her death.
“Last year 10 bands played for 10 hours. This year we will have two stages and 17 bands, and there will be music from 1-11pm. There will be bouncing castles, sandpits, face painting and a junior stage for the kids.”
There will also be food served all day, while many of local women are putting their baking skills to use – according to Eamon, there will be a tea room, the Tee House with seating facilities where people who want to listen to the music from further back can do so. And again, all proceeds will go towards the Hospice.
For more, read this week's Connacht Tribune.