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June 2019
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2005-09-14 We are not Islands - a note from James


When the CD arrives on September 16th, in the booklet you will see a reference to "Holly" and maybe it is no harm to explain to the Club who "Holly" is and why she is there.


When Mum died on the second last night of the Gaiety Theatre run in 2002, it was truly the worst night of my life as you know. The last night was hell for me. On the next run at the Gaiety, two lovely people arrived at the signing table, and with them a little girl - Holly. She was 5, and had leukemia, and was undergoing treatment. She was a HUGE Celtic Tenors fan. She was tiny, and had a shaved head, and a drip, and was out of hospital just for the night, which she described as 'the best night of her life'.


Somehow, to me, personally, she seemed like a symbol of young hope having lost Mum. The next day the Dublin newspaper the "Evening Herald" called us and asked if we would do a feature on us and the little girl. "Absolutely NOT", we replied as one. We continued to visit Holly and her BEAUTIFUL family on a regular basis, and sent her postcards from all over the world. She came to MANY more concerts, all of our Irish ones basically.


Last November we got a call to say she had the 'all-clear'. What a relief for everyone. We sang "Happy Birthday" down the phone to her from Holland last December. Then in February, the family's hell began all over again. Holly's tumour had come back and doubled, and they knew there was no hope. She had no strength to do more therapy and it would have been futile anyway. She was taken to Lourdes, and Disney in Florida, as they knew her time was limited. She continued to go downhill, and our visits became more frequent. The little 8 year-old was dying.


She died just a few weeks ago. We were asked to come and see her, a very Irish custom, and one I am not a huge fan of. Her tiny little frail body, all dressed in pink, with rosary beads around her little hands....... as she had said to me herself only days before - "It's not fair". And it isn't, is it? Of course her parents wanted us to sing at the HUGE funeral (about 2000 people). It was heart-breaking, as her school choir sang for their little classmate. We sang as the tiny coffin was going out at the end. We sang the song we had dedicated to her at a concert last year, her song - "Angel of Mercy". And so, on the album, we have put in brackets after that song "For Holly".


Just thought it was easier to explain that all now, so no-one need ask any questions, and everyone will be clear. Holly's bravery and inspirational life will be remembered forever.


Love to all, James XO