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Lending Liam a helping hand through Irish trad music

HELPING a local man who has Motor Neurone Disease afford life-enhancing equipment will be the aim of a fantastic musical extravaganza held in Omagh tomorrow night (Friday).

The event, ‘Liam’s Night of Music’ will be hosted in tribute to popular Omagh nurse, Liam McDermott, who is determined to live his life as independently as possible in spite of the progressive disease.

Organised by Liam’s good friends, the night will be a showcase of traditional Irish music talent, and will feature two of Ireland’s most-celebrated young musicians – Stephen ‘Banjo’ McKee from Derry and Gary ‘Box’ Curly from Fermanagh, with further local musicians joining in as the night progresses.

It will also benefit others with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) across Omagh, as any equipment that Liam becomes unable to use in the future will be donated back into the local community.

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Liam, 53, who is a nurse by profession and a keen athlete, was diagnosed with MND in May 2018.

Originally from Dromore, Tyrone but now living in Killyclogher, Liam was until recently a very active person a member of Omagh Triathlon club who loved taking part in triathlons, cycles and runs and had a keen interest in football but sadly, his deterioration since diagnosis has been rapid.

Within months, Liam went from training for an Ironman competition, to being wheelchair bound and unable to use his arms.

Eddie McCrystal, who worked as a nurse alongside Liam and whose 25-year-old son, Paul has been instrumental in organising the event, has encouraged everyone to come along and support Liam’s cause.

“The event will be wonderful, and is will benefit Liam’s quality of life tremendously,” Eddie said. “Despite Liam’s knowledge of MND due to his medical background, he never envisaged just how quickly his disease would progress.

“Liam currently has a robotic arm which gives him a wee bit of independence to feed himself. But due to the nature of the illness, there will come a time when he isn’t able to use his equipment anymore and he will need to purchase new assisting technology,” Eddie, from Omagh, explained.

“When this happens, Liam’s unused equipment will go into a pool, and it will then be distributed to others around Omagh who have MND.

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“Liam is very enthused about the event, which will be an exciting night of Irish traditional music, and we hope that it draws a fantastic crowd.”

• ‘Liam’s Night of Music’ featuring an open session for all local musicians to take part in, will commence tomorrow (Friday, November 30) at 8.30pm till late in Broderick’s Bar, George’s Street, Omagh. An upwards of 16 prizes will be up-for-grabs on the night, including a Tim Edey signed CD and £20 gift vouchers for Omagh shops.
Everyone is very welcome.

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