By Áilín Quinlan
Bandon’s Graham Norton will host a spectacular concert in Cork’s Everyman Palace next March, dedicated to a teenager from Bandon who tragically died last Christmas.
‘Graham Norton and Friends’ will be held in memory of Helen Fennell, who died last December, just eight months after receiving a heart transplant at the Mater Hospital. Norton will be joined by Linda Kenny, John Spillane, the Glaslinn Choir and Cork Arts Studio Youth Choir along with some talented newcomers including Helen’s former boyfriend Eddie Ryan as well as old friends Sam Hudson, Eva McCarthy and Katie Lynch.
The concert, which will take place in the Everyman on Sunday March 20th will celebrate what Helen’s mother Elaine calls the joyful life of the 18-year-old, who underwent a heart transplant in the Mater Hospital in the spring of 2014.
‘Following the operation, Helen lived an action-packed eight months, including attending Graham’s TV show and having dinner with him in October 2014 – from which she tweeted a photo captioned “‘best night of my life’ recalls Elaine, who has been good friends with the BBC chat show presenter since the age of 10.
Last September some 200 of Helen’s friends ran the Cork City Marathon in her memory.
Elaine says the idea for the concert came about after she was invited to Helen’s old primary school, Knockavilla NS, last summer, to attend an event remembering her daughter.
When Elaine met up with her old school friend Graham Norton last summer, she asked him about it. ‘He immediately, and very warmly agreed.’
Funds raised will go to the Mater Foundation, Cork University Hospital Charity and St Angela’s College in Cork.
Tickets, at €35/€40, are available from The Everyman Theatre box office 021-4501673or www.everymancork.com