Ireland’s oldest ‘boyband’ provided the entertainment for a Christmas dinner organised by ‘Friends of the Elderly’.
John St Ledger is the frontman of The Bolton Street Band, whose average age is a sprightly 82.
St Ledger admits: “Maybe man-band or ManZone would be better?”
The band performed in front of 75 diners in Dublin for the charity, as volunteers served them their Christmas dinner.
The audience loved every minute of it and sang back the lyrics to the band, waved their arms, and even danced on their chairs.
Maureen Donegan (75), who has been visiting the centre for 10 years said: “We have a great time, we have a sing song and a little line dance, and I am first up to sing ‘Bobby’s Girl’ so we have a great time.
“It’s nice to meet people and be friendly to people. Some of the people who come here don’t have anywhere else so it’s lovely to have this place to socialise.”
The Friends of the Elderly was first established in Ireland in 1980. When Rose Carney’s husband died 25 years ago she became a member and found it to be a great support network.
Now 91, Rose is still part of the organisation. She said: “I’m a widow for 26 years and I wouldn’t have another man -one was enough.
“When I was married my husband used to bring me out the whole time and buy me boxes of Milk Tray. So I hadn’t heard of this club or any other ones.”
“We are all one gang, we all team up together here. It’s a real girls’ club today.”
There are around 157,000 over 65s are living alone in Ireland, with 40,000 of them in Dublin, according to the 2016 census.
Friends of the Elderly relies on fundraising appeals as they receive no government funding.
Chairman Jim O’Brien said: “We want people to bring flowers before bread – in other words bring love first. I know that sounds corny, but that’s what develops between the visiting volunteers and the members – love.”
To make a donation visit the Friends of the Elderly website
Take a look at the video below.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling