The Blue Light Ball took place on Saturday night. The annual event for those working in local emergency services has been on the go for the past five years, becoming bigger and better with each event and raising funds for a good cause.
The Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel hosted this latest instalment and the designated room was bathed in a blue hue, as the party unfolded under the ever dutiful eye of General Manager Colin Ahern. And, though the overall mood was good, given the company it was understandable that to the forefront of all was the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, who was shot dead last Friday in Dundalk.
The night began with a minute’s silence in memory of the 41-year-old father of two, with all in the room only too aware that this was another life lost in the throes of the day-to-day duty they all share. The tragedy was referred to a number of times during the night, in particular during speeches from Chief Superintendent for Carlow-Kilkenny Michael McGarry and Mayor Sean O’ hArgain who detailed Books of Condolence locally and who spoke of the dangers to those in frontline services.
Mayor O’hArgain wished “to express the anger and solidarity of everyone in this city” and called the incident “atrocious, an attack on what we stand for”. He added “We owe you all a debt of gratitude, we’ve all taken our bashing but I’m always in line to defend the work you do.”
Chief Supt McGarry spoke of the sadness associated with such an incident and said “it brings to the fore the difficulty confronted with frontline services, our services are undervalued and it’s sad that’s the situation.”
Other speeches came from Dr Edwards, Aut Even Hospital, and representation of the Arthritis Ireland who showed a five minute video featuring those living with arthritis. Proceeds from the night were being donated to the organisation’s local branch.
Cash was generated by punters placing donations in an envelope in the hope of winning one of the many prizes which had been donated by local businesses. From driving lessons to bottles of wine, weekends away to gym membership, there was much fun as each prize was claimed.
Everyone was also treated to a €20 Lemongrass voucher!
The night moved from the table to the dancefloor as the party continued into the small hours of Sunday morning to a backdrop from Pete Fagan and the Troubadours. It was clear a lot of organisation had gone into the event and credit is due in particular to the organising committee.