A Tribute to Frontline Heroes – Pictured here are singer Emma Langford, soprano Sinead O Brien and MC Lorcan Murray (back) with organiser Una Heaton and Richard Lynch, ilovelimerick (front). Picture: ilovelimerick
‘Thank you, Frontline Heroes’ raises money for Pieta House and shows gratitude to our frontline heroes through song
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Mary Doyle
Today, Saturday, May 23, Limerick came together in song to give a huge thank you to the frontline heroes who continue to fight against Covid-19, while raising much-needed funds for Pieta House. ‘Thank you, Frontline Heroes’ at the Strand Hotel featured moving performances from the phenomenal Limerick talent of Emma Langford, Sinead O’Brien, Ger O’Donnell, Derek Moloney, Karen Franklin, Jim Lynch and the Munster Supporters Choir.
The event was broadcast live on I Love Limerick’s Facebook page and was watched by 10,000 people within hours of the broadcast.
Kicking off at 3pm with Lyric FM broadcaster Lorcan Murray as MC, an emotional but hopeful and uplifting song list including ‘The Prayer’, ‘There is an Isle’, ‘Something Inside So Strong’, ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’, ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, and ‘Stand up and Fight’ was performed from the city view suite in the Strand Hotel, with onlookers from the streets of Limerick below, as well as those following the online livestream. Limerick people came together and sang along as a symbol of their gratitude for the frontline workers – healthcare professionals, supermarket employees, and anyone who has put themselves at risk to work on the frontline during this worldwide pandemic.
Una Heaton, event organiser, said, “It was an idea I had that it would be a nice way to use music to thank our frontline people, while also raising money for Pieta House. Music is a great way to alleviate stress and bring people together, and when I asked people to get involved everyone was so enthusiastic, nobody said no, everyone wanted to take part. The Limerick Strand I thought was the perfect location as it looks across the city and down on the river Shannon below. A huge thank you to Tom and Eilis Walsh of Hearit, Simon McGuire and Daragh Flynn of Munster Multimedia and Ilovelimerick.com for the sound and video of the event and Limerick City Community Radio for your support.”
Not only was the event a way of thanking our Frontline workers, but it was also dedicated to fundraising for Pieta House. The need for Pieta’s lifesaving services is greater than ever as COVID-19 impacts not only the nation’s physical health but its mental health too. Even before COVID-19, the public need for Pieta’s services was on the increase, with calls to Pieta’s helpline up 49% year on year, while text messages had increased by 46%. Pieta House provides free therapy to those engaging in self-harm, with suicidal ideation, or bereaved by suicide. They rely on the generosity of the public whose donations and fundraising make up over 80% of their income.
Elaine Austin, CEO of Pieta, said, “As a result of COVID-19, our helpline has seen an increase in calls from people all over the country who are in crisis right now with many others presenting with high anxiety. Our bereavement counselors are supporting people who have lost loved ones and who are struggling to come to terms with their loss in a world where friends and family cannot grieve together as a result of the lockdown.
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