independent

Thursday 21 November 2019

Gala concert announced for radio broadcaster

Launch of the Gala Concert, in aid of Jim Kealy Prosthesis Fund, in The White House. Back: Cathy Keane, Angie Franklin, Mary Freeman, Edel Kelly and Daniel Kealy. Front: Jimmy Gahan, Mary Farrell, Sarah Kealy, Jim Kealy and Marion Kealy
Launch of the Gala Concert, in aid of Jim Kealy Prosthesis Fund, in The White House. Back: Cathy Keane, Angie Franklin, Mary Freeman, Edel Kelly and Daniel Kealy. Front: Jimmy Gahan, Mary Farrell, Sarah Kealy, Jim Kealy and Marion Kealy

Brendan Keane

A gala concert is to take place in Enniscorthy in November to raise money for a well-known local radio personality.

The concert, which was launched in the White House pub, is being organised in support of the Jim Kealy Prosthesis Fund.

It's part of a campaign to raise €20,000 for Mr Kealy who has been affected by a congenital deformity since birth which resulted in his left leg being amputated below the hip when he was 15-years-of-age.

Now aged 62, Mr Kealy is philosophical about his condition and grateful for the support he is receiving from friends and colleagues as efforts to raise the €20,000 required for a new prosthesis gather momentum.

Mr Kealy has been a long standing member of South East Radio's news team and has also been a successful stand-in presenter of the hugely popular 'Morning Mix' programme.

The details of the fundraising campaign were announced at the launch of the concert which will take place in the Riverside Park Hotel on Wednesday, November 27.

A wide range of showbiz stars have pledged to appear free-of-charge at the event.

The concert is being organised by Mr Kealy's colleague on local radio, Tony Kehoe, and will feature Theresa and The Stars, Declan Nerney, Gerry Gutherie, Pat McKenna, The Model Banner and Olivia Douglas among others.

The fundraising campaign was launched by Cllr Mary Farrell, from Wexford County Council.

A long time advocate of people with disabilities she said she was moved to join the campaign because of Mr Kealy's courageous acceptance of his disability.

Having worked with people with various forms of disabilities for 17 years, Cllr Farrell said she fully understood the challenges experienced by people who lose a limb.

On the night she praised Mr Kealy for leading a normal life despite his disability and how he engaged fully in the 'simple things in life', that most people take for granted, with his wife, Marian, and children, Daniel (13) and Sarah (9).

'Jim's total acceptance of his disability and his refusal to allow it to dominate his life is a shining example to others in a similar situation,' said Cllr Farrell.

A native of Arklow, in Co Wicklow, Mr Kealy has been a member of the staff in South East Radio since 2004 and his distinctive voice is recognised all over the region.

While he is ordinarily attached to the news department he also deputises for Alan Corcoran on the 'Morning Mix' programme and his incisive and in-depth interviewing skills have won him a large fan base.

The new prosthesis that he requires costs €20,000 and he receives no financial support from the HSE or Government agencies to assist him with the cost.

The forthcoming concert is the first in a series of planned fundraising ventures in support of the fund.

Tickets for the show, priced €25, are now on sale from South East Radio, the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy and District Chamber of Commerce office, and from the reception desk in St Senan's Primary School, Templeshannon, Enniscorthy.

People unable to make the concert but who might wish to donate to the fund can do so by visiting the Jim Kealy fundraiser Facebook page or lodge directly to the Jim Kealy Prosthesis Fund at AIB Bank, Enniscorthy.

Gorey Guardian

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