Charlestown community rally to help local man see again

The true spirit of Meitheal support in Mayo has brought together musicians from the Charlestown community as they launch a CD to raise funds to help neighbour Rob McNichol regain his sight.

Fifty seven years old Rob McNichol was tragically blinded in an explosion in 2005. He had his sight restored in a ground-breaking operation in the UK’s Sussex Eye Hospital. Despite the success of the operation, Rob McNichol was totally devastated earlier last year when his sight went again. Following consultations with his ophthalmic surgeon, Mr Christopher Liu, there appears to be a glimmer of light for Mr McNichol. Following tests, he has proved to be an ideal candidate for an innovative procedure whereby a bone is taken from his shin, then machined, and then - with a lens inserted - implanted in the eye. The expert ophthalmic team are confident it is his best chance of ever being able to see his wife and children again. The CD launch is being organised to ensure his family will be there for him during the surgery procedures.

Local musicians Tom and Matt Doyle and Martin Gaughan recorded the CD, spanning Irish folk to blues, at Tom’s recording studio in Charlestown and were joined by Rob himself who, despite his blindness, was tutored on the guitar by Martin Gaughan. Tom, Matt, and Martin were delighted to aid and assist Rob and his family. “It’s the very least we could do, to let the gift of music help give our neighbour and friend back the gift of sight,” they said.

The CD launch will be performed by local councillor Gerry Murray and takes place in the Charlestown Arts Centre on Friday, February 4 at 7pm. The CD will be available for purchase at various business outlets in Mayo and Sligo and will also be for sale on the night.


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