BY SEÁN P. FEENY
FOLLOWING the excellent care her uncle received in his final days, a well-known Country singer is hosting a very special concert in Gortahork next week in aid of Donegal Hospice. Lisa McHugh will be joined by fellow Country star Nathan Carter for a double-header at the Ostan Loch Altan on Friday, February 7.
The popular singer, who has very strong family connections in West Donegal, came up with the idea for the concert following the tragic loss of her uncle, John Coyle of Pole Road, Meenmore, Dungloe at the young age of 58.
She said: “The idea for the concert all came out of John’s time at the hospice. I had never been in a hospice before and it really leaves you blind as to how hard they work for not only the patients, but also their families.
“You can treat it like your own home, there are couches and whole areas were you can sit or sleep while your loved one is under full-time care.
“It is so important that people get the best care possible in their last days and they do that at the hospice where the staff did everything they could to help and make things as comfortable as possible for John in his final days.”
Lisa and some of her musicians performed during John’s funeral mass at St Crona’s Church, Dungloe on New Year’s Day. “We were speaking afterwards about wanting to do something for the hospice to show our appreciation.
“We had thought of putting out collection buckets after, but didn’t feel that was appropriate so we came up with the idea of doing a concert. This is not just a way of raising funds, but a chance to raise much-needed awareness.”
Lisa will be joined by her good friend Nathan Carter in their first ever double-header concert together at the Ostan Loch Altan in Gortahork.
“Nathan and I, and our families have been good friends for years. We very seldom get the chance to perform together as we are both busy with our own concerts so this will be a very rare occasion seeing us on stage together for a full two and a half-hour concert.”
Lisa said there is a big demand for the tickets already and urged anyone who can’t make it to the show and wishes to donate, to log onto www.donegalhospice.ie where a link has been set up for donation purposes, instead of buying tickets they will not be able to use.
A native of Killult, Gortahork the late John Coyle lived there until he was three years of age. At that point in his life the whole family moved to Glasgow.
There he met and married Margaret Greene of Pole Road.They would later live in Margaret’s native area. John was a fluent Gaelic speaker and always loved talking in Irish, especially to his mother-in-law, Annie Greene (93).
John was predeceased by his oldest and beloved son, Mark, who died in 1996 at the age of only 18 years. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, sons, John Paul and Tony, daughter, Marissa, daughter-in-law, Sinead (John Paul), two grandchildren, Leah and Aidan, his brothers and sisters, Mary, Michael, Brid, Dinny, Joe Sally, and extended family.
There will be a Month’s Mind Mass will be celebrated in St Columba’s Church, Acres on the evening after the concert at 6.30pm on Saturday, February 8.
Tickets for Lisa McHugh and Nathan Carter’s concert in aid of Donegal Hospice at Ostan Loch Altan, Gortahork, on Friday, February 7, are available from the hotel, Link2 Music & Gadget Store in Letterkenny, Books & Charts, Dungloe, and Donegal Hospice.