Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Waterboys concerts a huge success

The Waterboys' return to Spiddal on Tuesday 25th September, and their two benefit concerts for Strange Boat Donor Foundation, have left the village and all who attended the sell out concerts, on a musical high with memories of a very special day in Spiddal. All proceeds from the concerts will help with Circle of Life, the  commemorative garden in memory of organ donors which is planned for Salthill in Galway.

View a documentary short film of this wonderful day in Spiddal, made by film maker, Myles O'Reilly & Arbutus Yarns
Also enjoy the magic of the night captured in many different YouTube videos including this clip with
Anto, Steve and Mike singing "Saints & Angels": 
Eleanor Shanley singing "Strange Boat" with Mike, Steve and Anto, joined by Charlie Lennon

Hundreds of visitors from across Ireland, Europe, the US,  and from as far away as Australia and South Africa attended these two much anticipated  Waterboys concerts which were held in Park Lodge Hotel in Spiddal. The general response and comments after the shows, were that this was a very special occasion, not just musically, but on many levels, and will be remembered into the future as an extraordinary and almost spiritual experience.


Spiddal village was where The Waterboys spent six months in 1988 recording their iconic and much loved "Fisherman's Blues" album, and as Mike himself calls it, their spiritual home.  However, this was the first time they played a formal concert in Spiddal, reuniting Mike Scott, Steve Wickham and Anto Thistlethwaite.   It is on "Fisherman's Blues" the song Strange Boat was recorded, the song which gave its name to this website, and singer Eleanor Shanley who released the song as a CD/single in 2008 to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and to launch the charity, Strange Boat Donor Foundation, gave a moving and memorable performance of the song with The Waterboys at the concerts. 

(photos Gavin Kelly)


Also performing and bringing the passion and joy of traditional music to the occasion, were some local musicians including  well known composer Charlie Lennon who played on “Fisherman’s Blues” album, his daughter Eilís and son, Sean, Johnny Óg Connolly, Kevin Hough and Brian McGrath.     

(photo Declan Harte)

Mr. David Hickey, Director of Transplantation in Ireland put the day's events in context and spoke of the importance of the life giving cause of organ donation, and James Harrold, Arts Officer with Galway City Council was MC for the day and, through his own charm and wit and good humour, kept everything moving smoothly.                                                         

"Where do we begin thanking all of you who supported the two amazing Waterboys concerts in Spiddal on the 25th Sept. A day which will be remembered for a long time to come, and for all sorts of reasons; the sublime music, the unbelievable generosity and passion of the musicians, the gathering of so many nationalities in a small village in the West of Ireland, the good will and good nature of all, those on stage and off stage, and the understanding and support shown for the cause of organ donation. A special, emotional and celebratory day and night it certainly was, particularly for myself and Denis remembering Éamonn, the inspiration for it all.

Almost €12,000 was raised at this truly wonderful event in Spiddal, for the commemorative garden. 

Buíochas ó chroí libh ar fad: "I scáth a chéile a mhairimid".      

Martina & Denis

Full details on circleoflife/garden.html

Other benefit concerts are currently being planned  and details will be announced at a later date.  These will include
De Dannan, Sean Keane, Mairtin O'Connor , Folk the Recession, Dordán, Steve Cooney, Charlie McGettigan, Pat Coldrick, Marcus Ó hIarnáin and many many more.


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