Entertainment Music

Monday 19 March 2018

Free CD to help addicts' families rise from depths

Nicola Anderson

Singer-turned-therapist Frances Black got U2 and Snow Patrol on board for charity CD.

IT'S a grief many recovering addicts find too painful to talk about, even long after they have beaten their own demons and their lives are back on track.

Hitting rock bottom, the physical hardship, the loss of control over their own lives -- all that, they can handle.

But the pain they know they've inflicted on their loved ones is another thing.

In the battle against addiction, it is the families who often endure the most and are left to pick up the pieces.

And next week, a new charity drive aims to focus attention on their needs.

The Rise Foundation, started up by singer Frances Black to support families of addicts, is holding an awareness week from April 8 to 15.

And the cream of Irish music has thrown its weight behind it, with a free CD available only in next Saturday's Irish Independent.

U2, Snow Patrol, The Coronas, Christy Moore, Mary Black and Brian Kennedy all came on board when approached directly by Black, who has struggled with addiction in the past.

She hopes the charity drive can help to raise vital funds for a new centre for families they plan to build on tranquil Rathlin Island off the coast of Antrim.

Now a therapist herself, the well-known folk singer said it was while training at the Rutland Centre that she became aware that families needed help.

"The grief and powerlessness they can feel can be really heartbreaking," she said.

The idea for an album was on her mind for the past year and a half but getting U2 and Snow Patrol on board was "the most fantastic surprise" she said.

Adam Clayton suggested 'Moment of Surrender' as the most appropriate track. while Snow Patrol offered 'Give Me Strength'.


There is also a forthcoming book, with personal stories from the likes of Paul McGrath, Ben Dunne and singer Mary Coughlan -- who also contributed the song 'Mary, Mary' to the album.

"I've been through the whole thing myself," Coughlan said, adding that she did not like to talk about the impact of her previous addiction on her family.

"It's quite painful and I quite firmly believe it's why I stopped in the end," she added.

Brian Kennedy said he found the album inspirational. "Music is the language of emotion. In my own life, I'd reach for an album if I wanted some comforting," he said.

The album, which also features Black's own daughter, Aoife Scott (28), is available only with next Saturday's Irish Independent.

Irish Independent

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