A NIGHT TO RE­MEM­BER

PRO­CEEDS FROM ‘MAN ABOUT TOWN’ TRIBUTE WILL GO TO COM­MU­NITY MINDS AND WEX­FORD MARINE WATCH

Wexford People - - NEWS - By DAVID TUCKER

A CEL­E­BRA­TION of the life and times of the late mu­sic pro­moter Barry En­nis is due to take place in the town he loved this com­ing Fri­day night, the tribute fea­tur­ing mu­si­cians who took part in his first big event - the ‘Acous­tic Pic­nic’ at the Ir­ish Na­tional Her­itage Park back in 2012

‘It will be an emo­tional night, emo­tional for me, emo­tional for all of us,’ said his brother Mark, who is or­gan­is­ing the fund-rais­ing con­cert with Gor­don Barry, Ni­cola Bai­ley and his niece Leanne O’Reilly.

‘There’s a great buzz in Wex­ford about the con­cert. I ex­pect there will be a lot of sad­ness and hu­mour too, as peo­ple tell their sto­ries of Barry and what he meant to them,’ said Mark, adding that the amount of sup­port and good­will he had re­ceived from the peo­ple of Wex­ford is over­whelm­ing.

In a few short years Barry made a huge im­pact on the town he loved and his sad pass­ing ear­lier this year left a huge void in many peo­ple’s lives, both in Wex­ford town and county and fur­ther afield.

The con­cert at the River­bank House Ho­tel this Fri­day, Septem­ber 15, will bring to­gether mem­bers of his fam­ily and friends in a spe­cial show in mem­ory of the man him­self.

Barry sadly died in Jan­uary and is highly re­garded and re­mem­bered for the legacy he built up in the Ir­ish en­ter­tain­ments in­dus­try as a mu­sic pro­moter, events plan­ner and ad­vo­cate for Ir­ish mu­sic and com­edy.

As the founder of the Wex­ford Spiegel­tent Fes­ti­val and events man­ager for The Set The­atre, Barry worked with many of Ire­land’s top acts, but also at­tracted and booked in­ter­na­tional stars such as Kris Kristof­fer­son, Steve Earle, Al­bert Ham­mond, Donovan and the late great Glen Camp­bell.

‘The Spiegel­tent brought a whole new dy­namic, some­thing fresh, to the town,’ said Mark, ‘Barry was so proud of be­ing a Wex­ford man and it brought a lot of joy to him.’

Ti­tled ‘Man About Town - A tribute to Barry En­nis’ the show will fea­ture acts in­clud­ing Mick Flan­nery, De­clan O’Rourke, Cathy Davey, Gor­don Barry, The Man Whom & Eleanor McEvoy, all of whom Barry had be­friended and worked with over the years.

Spe­cial guest mas­ter of cer­e­monies on the night will be Barry’s friend and au­thor Eoin Colfer and pro­ceeds will go to the Wex­ford men­tal health aware­ness or­gan­i­sa­tion Com­mu­nity Minds and Wex­ford MarineWatch, a char­ity close to Barry’s heart.

Leonard Kelly, from Com­mu­nity Minds, who first met the ebul­lient Barry at a pub in Tagh­mon, said he hoped the con­cert would help raise a sub­stan­tial ‘pot of money’ for the or­gan­i­sa­tion which aims to put a com­mu­nity min­der - a men­tal health first aider - into ev­ery club in the county.

With a zero bud­get, Com­mu­nity Minds has al­ready trained more than 50 peo­ple - Mark En­nis is one of them - and ide­ally would like to train up to 1,000.

‘We need a pot of money to cover the costs of train­ing more peo­ple as com­mu­nity min­ders,’ said Leonard, who says that along with the Ask cam­paign, Com­mu­nity Minds ‘is one of the best ini­tia­tives around’.

‘The En­nis fam­ily would like to get the mes­sage out there - it’s OK not to be OK and there is help out there,’ said Mark, who had long had an in­ter­est in men­tal health and did his train­ing with Com­mu­nity Minds shortly af­ter Barry’s death.

Tick­ets for the Man About Town show are €26.50 and can be pur­chased from Wex­ford Arts Cen­tre on (053) 9123764 and The River­bank House Ho­tel on (053) 9123611.

Barry’s brother Mark with a poster ad­ver­tis­ing the event at the River­bank House Ho­tel this com­ing Fri­day night (Septem­ber 15).

The late Barry En­nis.

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