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Hometown tribute for Tomás Langan

County View

County View
John Healy

A multi-talented musician and community activist will be honoured in Castlebar on May 17, when the Tomás Langan celebration concert will take place at The Linenhall.
Tomás Langan’s story is an inspirational one. Visually challenged from birth, he has never let his disability get in the way of living a full and rewarding life. As a musician and singer, he is without peer, as the many fans of Twice as Nice can attest; and he has travelled all over the world on invitation to perform at charity events and at more-intimate family celebrations.
But that is only the top layer of a list that ranges from tandem cycles from Malin Head to Mizen Head and from Dublin to Galway in aid of a range of charities, to graduating in psychology and business from the Smurfit School at UCD, to winning top awards for his prowess in sculpture and art forms. He is truly a groundbreaker who has erased the ‘dis’ from ‘disability’ and whose permanent optimism and joy of living would put most of us to shame.
The Tomás Langan concert, organised by his friends Kevin Bourke, Michael Golden and Brendan Mulvey, will have a dual aim.
The first is to mark a quarter of a million Facebook hits for his performance at the Michael Commins concert in Galway two years ago, when he shared the bill with the late, legendary Big Tom. And so huge was the impact made that night by Tomás – three standing ovations a measure of that success – that an impromptu video shot on the night has by now been shared no less than 250,000 times on the social media platform.
The second aim is to raise funds for the upcoming ‘Trip to Thailand’, organised jointly by Tomás and Kevin Bourke, which will raise € 20,000 for the Mayo Roscommon Hospice. The trip itself is being co-ordinated by Enjoy Travel in the UK, long experienced in such ventures. Each participant on the trip will pay his or her own way, but Enjoy Travel will then donate €200 to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice. Additionally, participants are encourage to organise ancillary fundraisers with the funds going to the hospice, the Tomás Langan celebration concert being one such.
Special guest on the concert night will be the Mayo Person of the Year, Sr Maureen Lally, a long-time friend and supporter of the many charities supported over the years by Tomás Langan and Kevin Bourke. The guest artistes will include Kieran Lundy, Caroline Cresham, Mick Mulhern, the Cresham Academy of Irish Dancing and Lennie Grimes. A special place on the programme has been reserved for the duo of Tomás himself and fellow musician Joe Deery. But that’s only the first short list – don’t be surprised to see several other performers turn up on the night to pay tribute to a deservedly popular young man.
Finally, for those who might fancy an unique ‘Trip to Thailand’, as well as helping the Mayo Roscommon Hospice cause, the ten-day tour runs from September 24 to October 4. The escorted trip includes guided tours of Thailand’s most historic locations, top-class hotels and musical entertainment nightly from the in-house travelling band.
The cost per person is €1,549, and there are booking co-ordinators located all over Ireland and the UK, with the local contact points being either Kevin Bourke, Tomás Langan or the Mayo Roscommon Hospice office in Knock.