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jim'll fix it ‘I saw plight of homeless people when my mother took refugees from the North in 1967,’ says Jim Sheridan

Director joins host of stars in support of yearly fundraiser Rock Against Homelessness

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Jim Sheridan at the Olympia Theatre. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Jim Sheridan at the Olympia Theatre. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Caoimhe Barry of Wyvern Lingo will perform in Rock Against Homelessness on Sunday. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Caoimhe Barry of Wyvern Lingo will perform in Rock Against Homelessness on Sunday. Photo: Fergal Phillips

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Jim Sheridan at the Olympia Theatre. Photo: Fergal Phillips

Oscar-nominated director Jim Sheridan said he saw first-hand the plight of homeless people back in the 1960s as his mother used to offer their home as a refuge.

Speaking about his reasons for getting involved in independent.ie’s Rock Against Homelessness fundraiser on Sunday, he said it’s always been a cause close to his heart. “I suppose the first incidence I had of homelessness was when my mother had all the refugees from Northern Ireland in our house back in 1967,” he said.

“That was when we lived in Seville Place and I became a Co Down fan as a result. I used to be shouting ‘Up Down’ at the TV. So that was my first experience of homeless people I suppose, even though it was temporary.

“And then, just through the years, knowing different people and always just being involved emotionally in it, and I’m delighted to help this cause. I really like Focus Ireland and the work they do. Anything I can do to help them, I’m happy to do.”

He’s one of a number of high-profile figures who have loaned their support to the yearly fundraiser which is to drum up some much-needed funds for Focus Ireland.

The jam-packed night of entertainment will stream live from the Olympia Theatre and Windmill Lane Recording Studios this Sunday, June 20.

In a week that has provided a massive boost for the live entertainment industry, with the unveiling of €25m in financial support packages under the Live Performance Support Scheme, this may herald the winding-down of virtual gigs.

Panti Bliss will play host with support from Laura Whitmore, while David Merriman will direct the evening’s line-up.

Pillow Queens, who recently made their US TV debut on James Corden’s The Late Late Show, will play a four-song set from Windmill Lane.

Other acts performing on the night will include Christy Dignam and his Aslan bandmates. Their set will include a duet with the legendary Gilbert O’Sullivan, as well as Paul Walsh of Royseven. Wyvern Lingo and Tolü Makay, who wowed music lovers at the start of the year with her stunning cover of The Saw Doctors’ hit N17, will also perform.

The night of music will have an international link-up to Mexico for a performance by Rodrigo y Gabriela. Ryan McMullan will feature from Belfast and Ken Griffin will play from New York.

According to Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan, nearly 40pc of its annual budget comes from donations and he is calling on the public to show its support on the night.

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Now in its sixth year, and supported by Cadbury and Arachas Ireland, last year’s event raised over €70,000.

“These funds are vital to help Focus Ireland support the most vulnerable families and individuals and keep them safe during Covid-19,” he said. “We cannot thank Mediahuis Ireland enough for this incredible support.

“The show looks great and it will also feature some of the people we have supported so it is a chance for people buying tickets to the event to really hear how they are helping our work challenging homelessness and changing lives.”

Tickets priced €23 are still available from ticketmaster.ie

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