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Blackrock Clinic News HEROES AND HEALERS. Dual celebration recognising the heroes and healers of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Good Friday Agreement

HEROES AND HEALERS. Dual celebration recognising the heroes and healers of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Good Friday Agreement

13th Apr 2023

Blackrock Health and the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland (CBOI) will collaborate on a special event to be held at the Convention Centre Dublin on April 14th. The event’s central message focuses on healing and community, paying tribute to the doctors, nurses, and all essential workers of Blackrock Health for their unwavering commitment and hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, as we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, a performance by the acclaimed Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland will symbolise our country’s progress in peaceful times and look to the future with hope.

The CBOI was established in 1995 to unite young people from different backgrounds and communities through the medium of music and is recognised internationally as a flagship peace initiative. The orchestra has significant ties to US President Joe Biden. Made up of 130 talented young musicians from Ireland and Northern Ireland and based in President Biden’s ancestral home county of Louth, the CBOI has among its violinists a cousin of President Biden’s, who is related through the Finnegans of Carlingford.

The CBOI’s widely acclaimed ‘Peace Proms’ programme promotes peace through music and singing in primary schools across the island. Children from every social, economic, cultural, religious and political background are involved – from isolated rural communities to inner city areas in Dublin, Belfast, Limerick and beyond. An astounding 35,000 children from 700 schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland actively participate in Peace Proms annually including 6000 children in Northern Ireland with equal representation from Catholic and Protestant communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical importance of healthcare workers. Their courageous and unrelenting efforts to keep communities safe and healthy should never be forgotten. This event will honour the doctors, nurses, and essential workers of Blackrock Clinic, Galway Clinic, Hermitage Clinic and Limerick Clinic for their dedication to healing and commitment to care, which was nothing short of heroic. This event also celebrates the collaboration between private and public sectors including our colleagues in primary care. Together, these healthcare professionals are indeed true champions of their community.

The 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement is a momentous occasion, and the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland together with Blackrock Health are proud to celebrate this historic milestone. Years of negotiations and compromise finally came to fruition with the Good Friday Agreement, made possible by the tireless efforts of countless individuals and organisations. The special event on April 14th acknowledges the important roles played by those who worked towards peace in Northern Ireland. From politicians and diplomats to community leaders and activists, the heroes of the peace process are many.

This celebration will also serve to highlight the synergies and similarities between these two flagship organisations. Both offer a sense of hope and optimism, inspiring us all to strive together to attain a brighter future and a fairer and better world. Through their shared commitment to healing and community, Blackrock Health and the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland demonstrate that heroes come in many guises, whether through music or medicine.

Following a drinks reception and dinner invited guests will be treated to a performance by the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland whose unique symphonic blend of popular and Celtic music rooted in the Irish and Ulster Scots traditions, reflecting the complex history and rich cultural heritage of both sides of the border.

The CBOI has performed to critical acclaim across the globe, including a sold-out performance at the iconic Carnegie Hall, New York on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th 2023 which demonstrated the power of music to break down barriers and unite people of all backgrounds and traditions and earned the orchestra multiple standing ovations.

The concert at the Convention Centre will feature a line-up of outstanding talent including Conductor Greg Beardsell, CBOI Concert Master Richie Dunne, award-winning vocalist and songwriter Lauren Murphy, Tenor Ross Scanlon who was hailed by the Irish Times as the most talented tenor of his generation, all-Ireland champion Uilleann piper Conal Duffy, world champion Highland piper Grahame Harris, Ulster Scots dancers from the Michelle Johnston School of Highland Dance in Belfast and singers from the award-winning Dundalk based musical theatre group S.O.N.G. The inclusion of dancers from the DeNogla Academy of Irish Dance in Rockland County, New York will highlight the CBOI’s mission to foster international understanding and cooperation through the arts and reflect the deep cultural ties between Ireland and the United States.

The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland extends its sincere thanks to the Goodman Foundation whose long-term generous support has facilitated the growth of the CBOI’s pioneering music education initiatives. Their unwavering backing enables the CBOI to make the arts more accessible to children and communities throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland while spreading a message of healing and peace to audiences across the globe.