- 18 Jul 17
The fundraiser is in aid of six-year-old Dravet Syndrome sufferer Ava Barry.
With the likes of Rónán Ó Snodaigh, Paddy Casey, Susan O’Neill (SON) and Mick Flannery amongst the confirmed artists, the organisers of ‘A Party For Ava’ have promised that some “very special” surprise guests will also be appearing onstage at The Tivoli tonight.
“We’re not allowed to announce who they are,” says organiser Liam Coade, “but we can guarantee that nobody will be disappointed. Both of our surprise guests are extremely popular, chart-topping, household names in Ireland. We also have the Dublin Gospel Choir, folk singer Shay Cotter and loads of stand-up comedians.”
A Party For Ava is being thrown in aid of six-year-old Ava Barry, a sufferer of an extreme form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. In recent times Ava’s mother, Vera Twomey, has become nationally famous as a medicinal cannabis advocate as she campaigned to get Ava access to medicinal cannabis products in Ireland.
In March, she walked from her home in Cork to Leinster House in protest at government inaction on the issue. The following month, accompanied by Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan MEP, she flew to Ireland from Barcelona (where the medication is legal), but had the drugs confiscated at Dublin Airport.
Vera, Ava and the rest of the family were recently forced to up sticks and move to Holland where the medication is fully legal. Since arriving in Holland, Ava has begun her CBD and THC medication which has been prescribed by a GP. Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland last week, Vera said that since Ava started the treatment, she has been almost completely seizure free.
Ava was previously suffering with up to 20 tonic clonic seizures per day, making her life unbearable. These types of seizures are also known as convulsive seizures in which the person loses consciousness, falls, stiffens (the tonic portion of the seizure), and jerks (the clonic pportion of the seizure).
Depending on Ava’s condition, Vera Twomey will be interviewed onstage by Hot Press senior editor Olaf Tyaransen (if Vera is unable to travel, the interview will be done via Skype). There will also be an auction with several instruments amongst the goods to be sold.
Some tickets (€12) for A Party For Ava will be available on the door tonight. They’re also available online through the Party For Ava Facebook page.
Here's Damien Dempsey offering his support for the Bill to legalise cannabis for medicinal use: