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Charity calendar launch sees great turnout

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Charity calendar launch sees great turnout thumbnailThe official launch of the Tractor Girls calendar in aid of Billy Goulding's recovery fund by Billy's parents and sister Rachel with Miss Ireland (l. to r.) Eileen Shanahan Goulding, Rachel Goulding, Victor Goulding, Miss Ireland Niamh Kennedy.

THE "Tractor Calendar Girls" launch, in aid of Shinrone boy Billy Goulding, was hailed a fantastic night after a great turnout for the fundraising event.

The launch took place in the Racket Hall Hotel, Roscrea on Friday night and was a very successful event. Special guests on the night included Miss Ireland, Niamh Kennedy and local musician, Martin Bennett, who touched everyone's heart with his fantastic performance of "One Day", a self-penned song inspired by Billy's Recovery story.

The event was organised as part of the ongoing efforts by Billy's family, friends and supporters to help the five year old to have the best chance at improving his quality of life after he was left paralysed from the neck down after contracting a virus at just two years of age.

Billy now has to travel to London regularly for his rehab sessions and care as his treatment can't be facilitated in Ireland.

The idea for the calendar came from Billy's HSA, Ann Marie Maher and it was a a "very successful idea and night". The night's MC, Marguerite Ryan thanked both supporters and followers of Billy with the music on the night provided by Nivard Coonan while the food and the facilities were provided free of charge by the Racket Hall Hotel.

Speaking to the Tribune this week, Billy's mum, Eileen was "absolutely thrilled" with how the night went and the "great turnout". She particularly paid tribute to Marguerite Ryan, Ann Marie Maher, Martin Bennett, Tom Doherty (photographer) for their massive contribution to the night.

She also made a special mention to Billy's older sister, Rachael, who she described as "an amazing big sister" to Billy. Eileen then pointed out this event was all part of ongoing fundraising efforts to help fund Billy's continued recovery over the coming years. She added they also deeply appreciated everyone's help on this ongoing journey.

Martin was delighted to be able to perform his song on the night and to see the "journey the family have been on for the last number of years. It was huge and it was unbelievably received. It was a very emotional night."

He's now looking forward to the song being available for download on iTunes in early September but not before he performs with Mick Flannery in the Spirit Store on July 28 next and Electric Picnic later on this summer. Martin also encouraged people to check out his Facebook page "Martin Bennett Music" to keep up to date with his next steps.

Meanwhile, organisers of the calendar launch night would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who supported the event in anyway and in particular the brave ladies, who modelled for the nude but "tasteful" calendar.

The calendar is now on sale in local shops or by contact Billy's mum Eileen at "Billy's Recovery Story" on Facebook. Or, if you would like to support Billy, there's Go Fund Me page "Billy's Recovery Story" where donations can be made.

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