'Our songs help fans through tough times', says Kodaline's Steve
Kodaline have said that helping their fans get through difficult times is one of the key reasons they're still making music.
The Dublin band were on hand to reward exceptional young people for their stance against bullying at the Diana Award Anti-Bullying showcase yesterday at Facebook's Dublin HQ.
Frontman Steve Garrigan said that their followers have often been in touch to let them know that their music had helped them through difficult times.
"A lot of fans will come up to us after shows and before, having waited hours outside, just to say 'Thank you' because one of our songs helped them get through something," he said. "It's an amazing feeling... [and] it's what makes this all worthwhile.
"We started out writing songs for ourselves, but the fact they actually help people means a lot to us."
Speaking about the loss of a fan over the weekend, Kodaline bass guitarist Jay Boland said that, thanks to Twitter and Facebook, the group could reach out and speak to the young fan's brother "for almost two hours".
"One of the most encouraging things about [social media] is that we hear from people every day about how our music has helped them," he said. "It's important that our fans know if they're going through something and we can help, we will.
"That's why we're here, to show our support for this great cause and these kids who've done so much."
Jay said while he had never been the victim of physical bullying, that he had experienced the feeling of "not being treated right" while growing up.
"I've gone though bullying at different stages and different levels… and that's why I think this showcase is important," he said.
"Irish people have always been very off the cuff when it comes to the craic, but what's messing about to one person, could end up deeply hurting another.
"We need to take responsibility for how we interact with other people."
Also at the event to lend his support was Danny O'Carroll, from Mrs Browne's Boys.
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An online resource developed by Irish teens to raise awareness of bullying and provide support as part of the showcase is available at www.facebook.antibullyingpro.com.