For my big birthday last July, three of my brilliant friends gave me quite a special gift. Heather, Ginny and Conrad started a fundraising campaign in my name to help supply equipment for a new recording studio at the Mayo School of Music, near the ancestral home of our Kavanagh family in Ireland. Led by School Director Shaun Heneghan, The Mayo School of Music, with its amazingly talented teachers and staff, has provided quality music education to students for over a decade. This new facilty will give budding musicians in the area the opportunity to use recording and production equipment to help develop their musical skills and talents. At the birthday gathering, Heather surprised me with a toast and a letter from Shaun presenting this honor. I was so overwhelmed, so touched and so grateful. To them and, of course, to Shaun.
Together, we began a fundraising campaign both here and in Ireland and were so successful that we were able to double our goal thanks to our generous family and friends. As you can see in the pics below, Shaun and his team did a stellar job designing, building and equipping the space. Now, as of Jan 2022, the school and studio are up and running and - I'm thrilled to say - flourishing. Once again, I'm so grateful to Ginny, Heather and Conrad who came up with this tribute and to all those who lavishly donated to make this happen for Shaun, Finola and their students. The school in Kiltimagh lies just north of the town of Ballinrobe where John Kavanagh, my great great grandfather, was born in the 1820's. I can't describe how moved I am by the whole bloody thing. It's just magical. Sláinte.