In December 2020, the 52-year-old had written a message on the Scottish comedian’s fan page on Facebook in response to a series called ‘It’s Been a Pleasure’, which centred around Billy exploring his colourful past, and his new life in California following his Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2013.
“He started this series just to let people know, he’s still alive and the Parkinson’s hasn’t stopped him and, because I work night shifts, my wife would record the series and we would watch them together,” said Colm
“And the series just hit me. I went to see him at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre years ago, it was his final tour as a comedian and he had Parkinson’s disease at that stage, and I found him struggling, and I felt I should send a message on the page. I was such a big fan.
“I went on the fan page after probably having a few beers, and just wrote the message, and referenced his work in the ‘Man Who Sued God’ and ‘Mrs Browne’.”
The Facebook post read: ‘The Big Yin My Billy Connolly on ITV at 9.30 tonight bowing out from comedy as his illness takes hold. He is a great banjo player, folk musician, comedian, actor and narrator.
‘He showed us the world through his eyes. Maybe when he does meet his maker and not for many years yet, he can sue God. His finest moment was on Mrs Brown.
‘Parkinson made Billy Connolly a national treasure and the disease by the same name will take him from us eventually. But he may run around naked one more time singing Yodel hey, a ye u, a ye u. Photo: Irish comedian Silly Connolly for my 40th birthday party Arklow Bay Hotel May 2010.’
Recently, when Colm was clearing out his overloaded spam folder on his phone he was about to delete all messages and suddenly saw a response from William Connolly.
“It went into my spam into my Facebook Messenger page, so I didn’t actually see it, and my phone is currently overloaded with stuff so I was just trying to clear out messages,” he said.
“I nearly deleted it - I read it and I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
Colm was unaware that he had received the message.
“It was nearly a month since he sent it and about a year and four months since I wrote my post,” he said.
“The man has half a million followers, he must get thousands and thousands of messages weekly, for me to get picked out I found it quite overwhelming. For him to read my message for one, but to get a reply – it has actually blown me away.”
The comedian opened his message with ‘Hello Colm, How are you? I want to say thank you for your love and support’. He went on to say that fans like Colm make him ‘want to dance a wee jig in my heart’.
Billy continued: ‘Sometimes I look back, reminiscing my journey into entertainment and I realize I couldn’t have done it alone if not for the overwhelming love from wonderful people like you’.
Colm obviously replied to Billy’s message.
“I told him a huge fan of Phil Lynott, as he did a tour of Ireland on his tricycle and visited Phil Lynotts grave in Howth and met with his mother, Philomenia, and it was great to see that.
“I don’t expect him to read it, he saw my initial post, and whatever the reason he found it in his heart to reply to me, I’m just taken back.”
Colm added: “I love the man. He’s a comedic genius. He says it as it is and what comes out of his mouth is real life stories, and he has a way to make people laugh through these stories. He doesn’t care, and uses the f word - I just think he’s great.”
Over the years, Colm has organised a Thin Lizzy Tribute for charity in Arklow Bay Hotel, ad has raised funds for drugs awareness, suicide awareness, SOS Bray and animal charities.
He said: “Unfortunately with work, it’s given me less time to organise the Thin Lizzy Tribute charity gig, and I have not done it since the pandemic, but you never know it could be viable for next year.”
But he did recently finally get to meet another hero: Emer Reynolds, director of Phil Lynott’s documentary, ‘Songs While I’m Away’.