Westport hoteliers and publicans get caught up in jigs and reels

Hoteliers and publicans from all around Westport are dusting off their dancing shoes in a bid to raise funds for the local 50/50 Phone a Friend organisation. Pairs of plucky proprietors will be competing for top marks as judged by a celebrity panel. The fundraising charity competition night, called Jigs and Reels, takes place in the Mill Times Hotel on Thursday April 7. Everyone is welcome.

Jigs and Reels will give Strictly Come Dancing a run for its money with entertainment, fun and craic guaranteed for everyone. Tickets are just €10 a head and include canapés plus a champagne reception sponsored by Mill Times Hotel. Tickets are available from The Mill Times Hotel plus many other pubs and hotels around Westport.

“I’ll be leading the hoteliers in the one-two-threes,” says a smiling Joe O’Malley of The Mill Times Hotel. He was the first to put his name forward, though, as he admits, “It’s been a while since I danced anything resembling a jig or a reel. It’s all about taking part, though, and raising money for this really worthwhile cause”. Any publicans or hoteliers who are brave enough to put their names on the list should contact Pauline Sweeney or Regina McCormack at the Mill Times Hotel.

50/50 Phone a Friend is a local suicide prevention organisation based in Distillery Road, Westport. It was launched earlier this year in response to the growing problem of suicide both locally and nationally. In 2010 21 people died by suicide in the south Mayo area alone. The previous year, 527 people died by suicide nationally and an almost unbelievable 12,000 people attempted suicide. There is literally no one in our community who has not felt the terrible tragedy of suicide close to them.

A range of services are available in this country to support people at risk, but the message doesn’t always get through to those who most need it. 50/50 Phone a Friend highlights 24-hour helpline numbers for people who are depressed or suicidal. Special plaques are being erected in pubs and hotels, starting in Westport and Louisburgh and spreading around the county.

50/50 Phone a Friend can be contacted on 098 25050.

At just €10 a ticket, this is a really great night out, at a minimum cost. The entertainment is absolutely assured, courtesy of twinkle-toed local hoteliers and publicans. The judges’ panel will be entirely impartial and points will be awarded for dancing skill, technique, and most definitely for effort. The night will include music, dancing for everyone, a raffle and plenty of craic.

Telephone 098 29200 for tickets and information.


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