The community of Raphoe will be honouring a local celebrity for a great cause this Friday.
A new charity CD will be launched this weekend in memory of Annie Friel, aka ‘The Queen of Raphoe’.
The popular businesswoman and matriarch sadly passed away in 2016, leaving a lasting legacy in the town.
Annie was a role model to many, especially her granddaughter Sarah Allan.
Sarah recently decided to record a CD in tribute to her grandmother and to raise money for BUMBLEance. The CD, entitled Gweebarra Bay, will be launched this Friday 24th May from 8.30pm in Friel’s Bar Raphoe.
Sarah explains: “The name of the CD comes from one of the songs I recorded, Gweebarra Bay. It’s about the area where my Granny grew up, Leitir.
“I learned the song around 10 years ago when we found a record in my Granny’s sitting room. I sat by the record player stopping and starting, writing down the lyrics, trying to learn the melody so I could sing it for her.
“There was no other traces of the song to be found on the internet and the first time a lot of people heard it was when I sang it.”
Annie Friel was the face behind Friel’s Bar and Restaurant in Raphoe for 62 years and was welcoming customers right up to the week of her passing.
“She was often referred to as the Queen of Raphoe. She was a very special lady, so the song means a lot to us,” Sarah said.
Sarah is looking forward to sharing her music with family and friends on what is sure to be a touching night.
She said: “Recording a CD has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. So the fact that I can do this in memory of my biggest role model and donate all the money to such a worthy cause makes it even better.”
Proceeds from the CD will be donated to the BUMBLEance Children’s Ambulance Service. This charity choice was inspired by Annie’s love of children. She had 20 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, with one more on the way!
“It’s a charity that has helped so many families in our community so we’re delighted to help them out,” Sarah said.
The 4-track Gweebarra Bay CD will be selling for €8, with 100% of proceeds going towards BUMBLEance.
All are welcome to the launch, which will be a night of entertainment with a lot of singing and dancing. There will also be a raffle with some great prizes from local sponsors.
For more information and updates check out the Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/313168749375491/