hard to process | 

Aslan ‘devastated’ as Christy Dignam’s health concerns deny him dream anniversary gig

‘But you just don’t know what life is going throw at you each day and you just have to deal with it as best you can’

Christy Dignam

Melanie FinnIndependent.ie

Until recently, Aslan’s seriously-ill singer Christy Dignam had high hopes of performing at the band’s long-awaited 40th anniversary concert in the 3Arena this March.

Band manager Denise McCormack said the gig that had already been postponed was going to be “huge” for him and the legendary Dublin band that is so revered by music fans.

But yesterday, his family released a statement to say he was receiving palliative care at his home in Finglas after his health took a turn for the worse.

The star (62) was diagnosed with amyloidosis, a rare blood disorder cancer in 2013. He and his “devastated” bandmates are now trying to come to terms with the fact that he will never perform with them again.

“We just have to be realistic as to where his actual health is and going forward, the possibility of him being able to perform again. And his family made the decision that no, on medical advice, that it just wasn’t going to be possible,” said Ms McCormack.

“In fairness to them, they have always been honest and everyone lived in hope.

“Christy himself only a few weeks ago was going, ‘Yeah, the 3Arena.’ But sadly, it’s come to the realisation that it’s just not going to be possible, that the guys performing again is just not going to happen.

“So for health reasons, his family just had to make that decision.”

Mr Dignam was admitted to Beaumont Hospital last July and spent six months receiving treatment from the haematology and cardiac care team before being released to his family home last month.

He is now “comfortable” at home, where he is being cared for by his wife Kathryn, daughter Kiera and her husband Darren.

The last time the chart-topping band performed together was at Kilkenny’s Ballykeeffe Ampitheatre last August. They were due to play the biggest gig of their career at the 3Arena last September to mark their 40th anniversary but it had to be postponed after Mr Dignam’s health went downhill.

“Ballykeeffe would have been the last show they did together,” said Ms McCormack.

“Performing is Christy’s life and it always has been. And to think of that, to try and take on board that this was the love of his life and he’s not going to be able to do it again, it’s just hard to process.

“But you just don’t know what life is going throw at you each day and you just have to deal with it as best you can. And just be there and he’s at the forefront of everyone’s minds.”

His family and his band mates Billy McGuinness, Joe Jewell and Alan Downey have been bowled over by the outpouring of support.

“The fans are just so amazing and all the well-wishes and love just means so much to everyone, especially Christy,” she said.​


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