People from the town and the surrounding areas gathered in Gullane’s Hotel, Main Street recently, for a huge fundraiser concert for local photographer Jackie Dolan. Jackie has been taking photos in the town for the last eighteen years, and since 2010 launched and ran her own photography studios and store in Society Street’s J&S Photos, capturing most of the notable events over the years. However, in May 2018, Jackie suffered a minimal brain bleed and as a result lost her balance and fell down the stairs.
She was immediately transported by ambulance to Galway University Hospital, where the doctors worked frantically to access her injuries, and from there began the lengthy process to repair her broken body. She damaged her spine in the fall and is now currently confined to a wheelchair. Not only did people come from the local area to show their support on the night, but the event also drew supporters from abroad, including Jackie’s own sister, Angie, who flew in from the United States where she resides but was instrumental in putting the road to recovery fundraising campaign in place.
At the start of the Dublin City Ramblers concert, Angie made a brief address of welcome and gratitude – singling out especially Jackie's son Paul and his wife Fiona, Jackie's daughter Michelle Doyle, (Angie's) uncle Austin, uncle Matty and aunt Kathleen, neighbour Seán Fletcher, Tomás Gullane and family for the use of their premises and in particular to Sean Ward and the Ward Family. All the proceeds from the night went towards Jackie’s ‘Road to Recovery’, which included sales on the door, as well as several raffles that took place. People in attendance were treated to a night of music and culture, with the added benefit of donating to a good cause.
Four young dancers from the World Championship Irish Dancers group in Clare gave a lively display of Irish set dancing, which marked the beginning of the evening’s affairs. Jackie herself made a short appearance via a pre-recorded video, as sadly she couldn’t be there on the night. Jackie in a deeply moving clip, thanked everyone in attendance, and gave special thanks to her family & friends for organising it. Speaking about what happened to her, she didn’t dwell too long on the details of her accident and recovery, but rather focused on an uplifting and powerful message. She told her friends and wellwishers “I want to walk again."
The Dublin City Ramblers, entertained the large audience with their upbeat and lively renditions of many famous songs, as well as taking a few requests from the crowd too. Not only that, but local man Johnny Johnston, accompanied by other local musicians, troubadors and entertainers hosted a trad session out in the front bar into the wee hours. The total raised on the night was in the order of €21,000 and coupled with the online campaign of some €10,000 means the team behind Jackie’s road to recovery is 60% towards its funding target. If you would like to find out more or make a donation to the crowdfunding campaign set up for Jackie’s ‘Road to Recovery’, the details can be found on GoFundMe, at: Jackie Dolan’s Journey – Road to Recovery
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