ENNISKILLEN’S Clare Donohoe has organised a special reunion at the Fort Lodge which guarantees to be a night full of craic and fun for former frequenters of the ‘Lodge of Love’.
But the real reason for the celebration night is a lot more than just a return to the place where friendships were formed and ‘Fat Frogs’ were downed.
Four years ago, Clare’s husband, Tom, was diagnosed with a rare and life-limiting lung condition, at just 43 years of age.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a terminfun and craic planned at the Fort Lodge reunional condition which occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred.
Clare is an ambassador for the non-profit organisation which provides support to people living with the condition. She hopes that this fundraiser will raise awareness about the disease.
“There is no cure,” explains Clare, “unless the person gets a double lung transplant, their prognosis is very poor.”
And the chances of securing a double lung transplant, in the midst of the ongoing NHS crisis, is highly unlikely.
“Last year, there was only 97 lung transplants carried out in the UK and there was only three patients from Northern Ireland,” says Clare,
“Many people have passed away while they are waiting on the list or trying to get on the list.
“I have met a lot of families and sadly a lot of them have had members who passed away.”
Suffers of the condition have been given hope, thanks to the work of a ‘wonderful new doctor’, Dr Nazia Chaudhuri.
“She is going to be starting trials in the North which is rare as things like that are usually done in England.”
Funds raised from the ‘Lodge of Love’ reunion will go towards the charity, and the money will make a massive difference.
“We purchased a respite centre up in Ballycastle,” said the pulmonary fibrosis ambassador, “it’s like a big static home that is a place where families can go for a bit of time out.”
Tickets to the ‘Lodge of Love’ reunion on Saturday, February 4, have been in big demand, with people across the county keen to return to the once popular Enniskillen hotel for a night out.
We, at the Herald, reached out to Fort Lodge frequenters to find out what their favourite songs were from back in the day. Gala’s ‘Freed from Desire’, Stealers Wheel’s ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’ and Bryan Adams’ ‘Summer of ‘69’ were high up the list, and Clare guarantees that these songs will be on the setlist next Saturday.
“PJ the DJ from Irvinestown is going to do all of the popular songs from the era,” said an excited Clare.
“Of all the places that we went in the day, the Fort Lodge was just iconic. It was fun, it was good music, the 80s, 90s, all just innocent craic.
“People have been buzzing about it because there’s nowhere to go for our age group. It’s about reminiscing, having fun and the craic and a bit of positivity after lockdown.”
Tickets to the ‘Lodge of Love’ reunion can be purchased online on Eventbrite or from JT Ryan’s, The Lough Inn or the Enniskillen Hotel.
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