Limerick musical maestros donate time for Alzheimer's Society

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Volunteer musicians with staff at the Alzheimers Society Day Care Centre, Garryowen

Volunteer musicians with staff at the Alzheimers Society Day Care Centre, Garryowen

THREE musical Limerick maestros have been donating their time and symphonies to the Mid-West branch of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

Friends Jane Murphy and Ivan Thornbury, both from Thomondgate, linked up with Caherdavin man David Clampett to form a group.

On a voluntary basis, they perform old-time songs for people suffering from Alzheimer’s, at the Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s day centre at Kilmurry Court, Garryowen each week.

Jane Murphy, who is originally from the state of Alabama in the USA, said: “We got together almost by chance. Dave started first, Ivan joined in. And then I moved in next door to Ivan”.

Ivan explained further: ”Then I heard her sing, and I figured we had to recruit her.”

The trio specialise in sea shantiz, and country music, and point to the Eagles as influences.

David said: “We do a variety of different things from modern to traditional. Anything the clients want hearing – anything that helps them really.”

“For us, it’s nice to give back something, particularly with us being at the age we are – me in particular! I feel anything which helps in their own life is worthwhile. It’s difficult for them, so if we can give a bit of relief and respite, it means a lot,” David added.

Collette Devlin, who manages the Alzheimer Day Care centre in the city, is really thankful for the tunes the trio bring.

“The great thing about this is for the clients here in particular, music is very key to them. In many ways, they remember a lot of songs from the past. As they do, it gives them great comfort to sing.

“What the musicians do not realise is how long this lasts. When they are here, we want to send them home happy. Music makes them happy. So when they get home, their relatives are not as stressed, not as anxious as their loved ones are coming home happy,” she said.

Among the clients, Mary, from the city said: “They’re just brilliant. It’s a highlight of my week when they come. I look forward to it – their music is wonderful.”

And fellow city man Christy added: “I think they are absolutely brilliant. They all do different types of music for me. A bit of Elvis, a bit of the Beatles. Elvis is dead, but I enjoy the Eagles too.”