herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Nicky Byrne joins stars at sell-out gig for survivors of Berkeley

Nicky Byrne with (L to R) Kate Tunney & Chloe Smith (friends of students involved in the Berkeley collapse)
Nicky Byrne with (L to R) Kate Tunney & Chloe Smith (friends of students involved in the Berkeley collapse)

A sell-out fundraiser for the survivors of the Berkeley balcony collapse was held last night in The Academy in Dublin.

Large numbers of friends and former classmates of the victims were among the attendance at the Middle Abbey Street venue.

Dubliner Gavin James said he didn't think twice about adding his name to the line-up for the charity gig.

The singer, whose star continues to rise worldwide, was in town to play with his pal Ed Sheeran tonight.

CAUSE

"I just felt I had to do it when one of the organisers contacted me. I just had to because it's such a good cause," he told the Herald. "I'm only back so I'll be playing through jetlag," he joked.

It is a whirlwind trip home for the singer, as will rejoin superstar singer Sam Smith on tour this Sunday.

Two members of Kodaline, Steve Garrigan and Mark Prendergast, also took to the stage last night.

Among a large number of bands and performers, all of whom gave their services free were Mundy, Daft Funk, The Fontaines and The Dublin Gospel Choir, Knights of Leon, Kurtis Wade, Heroes in Hiding, Jape, I'm Your Vinyl, and Neon Atlas, while Westlife's Nicky Byrne hosted the night.

Tickets were priced at €25 and all proceeds go to the students who suffered life-changing injuries when the balcony collapsed in California last month.

Kate Tunney (21), one of the organisers, said everyone wanted to help.

"MCD gave us everything for free, including the venue, and everyone working in the venue were volunteering for free. There's been a fantastic response."

Her friend Clodagh Cogley from Milltown, Dublin, was seriously hurt in the disaster.

"People felt so helpless when it happened so it was good that we could all put our energies into a positive thing like this fundraising concert.

"We hope it will help the seven survivors in making the hard transition to life after the accident," Kate said.

Joe Carroll (24), lead singer with Heroes In Hiding, said his band agreed immediately to play the concert.

"Anything we can do to help. What happened affected the whole country. It made people's blood run cold when they heard," he said.

Another organiser, Conall Carroll (21), said Clodagh Cogley is an amazing person who was delighted to hear about the fund-raising concert.

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