Show must go on for salon’s day of charity

The owner of Joseph’s Hair Salon in Glasheen has earned his reputation as Cork’s kindest hairdresser after raising thousands over the years for families down on their luck.
Show must go on for salon’s day of charity

Joe Byrne at his ladies and gents hair and beauty salon. Pic Larry Cummins.

AN entrepreneur who opens his hair salon at Christmas for families battling everything from domestic abuse to crippling poverty has insisted the show must go on after being rushed to hospital.

What started off as a few haircuts and selection boxes for people in need once a year has snowballed for selfless entrepreneur Joseph Byrne. The owner of Joseph’s Hair Salon in Glasheen has earned his reputation as Cork’s kindest hairdresser after raising thousands over the years for families down on their luck.

This will be the first year Joseph will be unable to attend his annual event that sees the salon opened up to provide free appointments to the homeless and those down on their luck. Joseph spoke to The Echo from his hospital bed before undergoing surgery ahead of the event this Sunday.

“It’s devastating because this is the first time in eight years that I won’t be able to attend one of the events." 

He described the compassion demonstrated by people in the run-up to the event.

“I got into fierce pain and couldn’t move so I was rushed in straight away,” he said of his hospital admission. “The last two weeks had been wonderful. A woman named Liz Plunkett came to us with €800 worth of presents she and her nieces and nephews decided should go towards helping people who needed them this year. There was also a man who gave me €1,000 euro which I was able to use to buy ten €100 vouchers as gifts for people on the day.” 

He said they are expecting people from all walks of life to benefit.

“It's not just mothers who are coming to us. There are also a couple of single dads too. Because of my husband Darren, who is stepping in to take care of everything, and the kindness of all the volunteers we are lucky that the day can still go ahead.” 

Mr Byrne described his heartbreak at not being able to attend in person.

“Of course I’m devastated but I also know it’s not about me. It’s about the parents and the families who are going through so much this year. Domestic violence and poverty aren’t just there for Christmas. They are with people every day of the year. All we want is to be able to give people one day without worry. As far as we’re concerned, that’s what’s most important.” 

The entrepreneur is urging everyone to consider those down on their luck this Christmas.

“I realise that this could be any of us tomorrow which is why it’s so important that we all help each other.” 

He extended his gratitude to the community for pulling together to make the event possible.

“There are so many people I have to thank including Pat Murray and John Gaffney from Flannery’s pub who are providing a marquee and food for everyone on the day.”

The event will kick off at 10am this Sunday.

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