Rock the Lough is special for bereaved families

Cystic Fibrosis

Going Gigging: Front, Sinead Judge, on left with Ciara and Billy Nicholl and rear, Ciaran Carson, chief organiser of Rock the Lough and Jack Bogue

FOR two local families this year’s Rock the Lough is something special.
Ciara and Billy Nicholl, parents of Ellie who died last year, and Sinead Judge, whose daughter Samantha died earlier this year will benefit from the fundraising day in the Crowe’s Nest this Sunday.
The popular charity music day takes place this year in the Crowe’s Nest with three stages artists and groups performing live rock, folk and Country music.
Ciara, Ellie’s mother explained that Ellie was diagnosed with a rare disorder. “We want to keep Ellie’s memory alive. We headed to England and had a break in a mobile home there and when we came home we did some research and found there was nothing like it in Ireland. So that’s where the idea came from to provide breaks for families in a similar situations,” she said.
Ellie’s father, Billy said, “A lot of local people support us because they know every penny that is raised goes to the £5,000 a year it takes to run.
We’re fully booked and have had to turn people away. Now we’re delighted. Initially we were concerned about the numbers, but once the word has got out there it has just snowballed.”
“We will be there on Sunday supporting and listening to all those who have given up their time for the musical night,” he said.
Sinead Judge explained that her daughter Samantha had Cystic Fibrosis. She passed away in January at the age of 25.
“I got to know Ciaran from coming into my workplace and we talked about it and when she passed away Ciaran suggested that we do something for Cystic Fibrosis.
“We’re very happy that it is happening and so pleased that Rock the Lough have taken us on board,”she said.
She admits she’s not the biggest music fan in the world, but she’ll be right up there in the crowd on Sunday evening.
“I’m going to the gig and probably be there most of the day to support and raise awareness because there isn’t enough awareness in this area.
“There are so many people have it and a lot of people aren’t aware. It really is a common thing.
“It seems to be hidden because people look all right, but there is a lot of medication and physio and people out there need to be alerted to it,” she added.

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