Ronan Collins looks forward to New Year of possibilities

Posted on: 15th January, 2018

Category: Features

Contributor: Mary O'Brien

Ronan Collins with Big Band and Singers is returning to play the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery on Saturday, February 10. The show, which is in aid of the Ethiopia Deaf Project, will this year feature Gina Dale Haze and the Champions and Joe Dolan’s Classic’s such as ‘You’re Such A Good Looking Woman’,’The Answer To Everything’, ‘It’s You It’s You It’s You’ and much much more.

Ronan, who has has visited Ethiopia on a number of occasions with Self Help Africa, is really looking forward to returning to West Cork to play in Rosscarbery in support of the Ethiopia project, which is making a significant difference to lives of deaf people in Ambo in Ethiopia.

Many deaf children in Ethiopia don’t get access to education and when they do it is usually in an environment that does not understand their particular communication needs, especially the need for sign language. This results in the children feeling very isolated and stigmatised. Without proper supports, even those lucky enough to attend school often end up failing and leave early.

The event in Rosscarbery is being organised by Miriam O’Regan, a member of the Ethiopia Deaf Project. Miriam has two adopted children from Ethiopia, one of whom is deaf. “Miriam is an extraordinary woman and I’m delighted to be doing something in support of a charity that is fundraising to help deaf children in Ambo Ethiopia,” says Ronan.

After four years of fundraising, the Ethiopia Deaf Project succeeded in opening the Ambo School for Deaf Children in 2012.

“A recent visit to rural villages has brought an additional 30 children to the school,” says Miriam, “but these children have nowhere to stay, no money to pay rent or to feed themselves. They are desperate for a chance at an education, but more than that, they are desperate to be able to communicate.

“One of the hardest things we learned was that these children did not even know their name. Imagine never knowing you had a name,” says Miriam passionately.

“We desperately require a boarding house so we will be able to take in more children and also keep them safe. Our focus is to maintain the school and support the children attending it as best we can but our dream is to build the boarding house. With your ongoing help we will be able to make this dream come true!”

A drummer with Dickie Rock in the 70s, Ronan has played every hall in West Cork, which is another reason he’s really looking forward to returning to play in Rosscarbery.

A recent health scare has made the DJ appreciate life even more and, at 65, he has no intention of retiring. “I like to think I’ve rediscovered my determination,” he admits.

In July last year, Ronan very suddenly lost all feeling in his legs and became paralysed from the waist down. Doctors initially thought he had suffered a stroke but it turned out to be a benign cyst pressing on the nerves in his spine.

“It was a very scary time,” he says. “On Thursday morning I was perfectly fine but that evening I had ‘jelly’ legs and by Friday morning I couldn’t walk.”

Ronan was brought by ambulance to the A&E in Connolly Hospital and was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital for an MRI. He was operated on at 5am on Sunday morning. “Thankfully the operation was a success and I’m very well now. Although my legs still aren’t 100 per cent, they’re getting better every day.”

Ronan’s ordeal was captured on camera for RTÉ2’s four-part documentary series ‘Trauma’. The film crew happened to be in Beaumont filming at the time he was admitted. “I wasn’t happy about the filming at first when they asked me,” he admits. “I didn’t want my demise, if that was what was going to happen, to be in the public eye.” However, a couple of hours before the operation, Ronan agreed to be filmed, so long as he had the right to veto it before it was aired.

“It was a positive result, a benign cyst, so I feel very lucky,” says Ronan, who returned to work after only five weeks. Although he still has difficulty walking long distances, Ronan is working very hard at his rehabitation and goes swimming every morning.

“This experience has made me more appreciative of being able to move around. I don’t take that for granted anymore.

“I’m back doing the Reeling in the Showband gigs and I’ve a new contract with RTÉ. I’m going to be around for a few years yet, which is very heartening.

“My wife had a serious back operation last year, which was also a success, so we’re both looking forward to having a good year in 2018.

“And I’m very happy to be in a position to support Miriam and the Ethiopia Deaf Project again this year.”

Latest News Articles:

West Cork girls among first to earn Irish Girl Guides’ new engineering badge
What is GDPR and who does it affect?
Kinsale historic map project launched
Dunmanway launches year-long celebration of Sam Maguire
Sam Maguire School Tour launched
Fundraising drive to get Kinsale students to World Robotics Championships to Kentucky
Answer the Call to save lives on March 23
Clonakilty students return from trip of a lifetime to rural Malawi
Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads

Join us on Facebook

... See MoreSee Less

13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
... See MoreSee Less

12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing schulldramagroup@gmail.com

For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
... See MoreSee Less

9th April, 2018  ·  

Jump to:

Top