Christy Moore to play tribute gig for Don O'Leary and Cork Life Centre

The concert will be entitled “A Tribute to Don O’Leary”, and Mr Moore told The Echo it was a mark of the respect he had for Mr O’Leary and the work of the Life Centre
Christy Moore to play tribute gig for Don O'Leary and Cork Life Centre

Christy Moore said he was very grateful to be gigging in his 77th year and he was looking forward to playing in the Opera House. Photo: Ray Keogh

FOLK legend Christy Moore will perform a special concert in Cork Opera House on November 6 in aid of the Cork Life Centre.

The concert will be entitled “A Tribute to Don O’Leary”, and Mr Moore told The Echo it was a mark of the respect he had for Mr O’Leary and the work of the Life Centre.

“We won’t talk about me, because it’s not a Christy Moore gig, it’s a Don O’Leary and the Life Centre gig,” he said in a telephone interview to announce the concert.

“The gig is on November 6 in the Opera House and tickets go on sale this Thursday and it’s going to be myself singing for Don O’Leary, and we're going to try and raise a few bob for the Life Centre, because the work the Life Centre does for young people is something very special that needs to be cherished and encouraged.” 

The Cork Life Centre is an alternative education project which offers one-to-one tuition to young people who cannot access their education in the mainstream secondary school system.

The two men first met when Mr O’Leary was a Republican prisoner in Portlaoise Prison in the late 1980s, sentenced to five years for treason for what was then the crime of possessing Sinn Féin election posters.

“Don made contact with me, and I straight away wanted to go in and play, but the governor of the day told me that if I wanted to go in and play, I’d have to play for everyone else as well, so I ended up doing five gigs in Portlaoise Prison in a week,” Mr Moore said.

Don O’Leary told The Echo that when he got out of prison, there were two tickets to see Christy Moore in the Triskel Arts Centre waiting in the hallway at home.

The two men hadn’t seen each other in years, but Mr Moore is a big fan of The Two Norries Podcast, and is friendly with James Leonard and Timmy Long, and when Mr O’Leary appeared on the podcast, Mr Moore asked the lads for his phone number.

Mr O’Leary said that he hadn't been speaking with the Two Norries when he got the call, and for a moment he thought it was someone winding him up, but he quickly realised it was his old friend, and he was flabbergasted when he offered to perform a concert in aid of the Life Centre.

“It's such a great honour that Christy is doing this for the Cork Life Centre, and it means a lot to us that he is supporting us and the work we do, Mr O'Leary said. 

"I did actually say to him could he please not call it ‘A Tribute to Don O’Leary’, but he said ‘Don, it’s happening, get over it’, and I suppose you can’t argue with Christy Moore."

Mr Moore said he was very grateful to be gigging in his 77th year and he was looking forward to playing in the Opera House.

“I haven’t really played in Cork since the Marquee started up, I’ve been playing out there every year but I haven’t been coming in to Cork, and I’m really looking forward to going to the Opera House, I really love the Opera House,” Mr Moore said.

Tickets for Christy Moore in Concert: A Tribute to Don O'Leary go on sale at 10am Thursday 15 September, priced at €45 plus booking fee. Proceeds go to the Cork Life Centre. www.corkoperahouse.ie.

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