'Words cannot express how truly grateful I am' - Husband of late Maureen Courtney thanks local community for fundraiser

Husband of late Maureen Courtney heaps praise on local community after 2,000 attend recent benefit night Husand Husband of late Maureen Courtney heaps praise on local community after 2,000 attend recent benefit night

'Words cannot express how truly grateful I am' - Husband of late Maureen Courtney thanks local community for fundraiser

By Liam Cosgrove

“I have never felt more at home in a community than I have these past few months.”

They were the words uttered by Franky Courtney this week after close to 2,000 people turned out at a recent benefit night in memory of his late wife Maureen.

The much loved and deeply respected St Joseph's Nationa School teacher passed away unexpectedly on December 20 last.

In the weeks and months since, neighbours and friends from the couple's home village of Drumlish have continued to rally around Franky and his three children.

The lastest of those efforts culminated in a special benefit night in a full to capacity Longford Arms Hotel a little over two weeks ago.

Several artists from the world of country and local rock music took to the stage, treating audience members to a night of fun filled entertainment and revelry.

But it was the huge turnout and level of support shown to Franky and the Courtney family which this week prompted the father of three to issue a heartfelt message of thanks.

In a candid interview with the Leader this week, Franky said any nerves leading up to the April 4 occasion soon disappeared as he arrived through the hotel's front doors.

“There was a serious crowd there,” he recalled.

“I really couldn't get over it, especially as it was a work night, it was unbelievable.

“I was actually very apprehensive going in and didn't know how I would react to the crowd but when I came in everyone started coming over and were very friendly and supportive.

“I felt at home straight away. The whole thing made me feel very appreciative so much so that I have never felt more at home in a community than I have these past couple of months.”

The event's main organising committtee, which was chaired by local councillor Martin Mulleady, came in for particular praise.

They too, issued a statement this week expressing gratitude to the night's various entertainers, MC Sinead Hussey and Paraic Davis, who oversaw a special raffle.

“Words cannot express our thanks for the kindness and generosity of all the people who supported the benefit night in aid of Maureen.

“It really has shown what high regard and respect Maureen and the Courtney/McCann family are held in,” read a statement.

In the wake of those acknowledgements, talk has already turned to the possibility of holding the event annually in memory of Maureen.

That, however, has yet to be fully thrashed out. For the moment, Franky said the occasion an d the events of April 4 last will live with him for a long time to come.

“To everyone who sold tickets and spread the word, I can't put into words how grateful I am.

“I have never felt more at home in a community than I have these past few months.”

They were the words uttered by Franky Courtney this week after close to 2,000 people turned out at a recent benefit night in memory of his late wife Maureen.

The much loved and deeply respected St Joseph's National School teacher passed away unexpectedly on December 20 last.

In the weeks and months since, neighbours and friends from the couple's home village of Drumlish have continued to rally around Franky and his three children.

Huge crowds packed out the Longford Arms Hotel a little over two weeks ago for a special benefit night.

Several artists from the world of country and local rock music took to the stage, treating audience members to a night of fun-filled entertainment and revelry.

But it was the huge turnout and level of support shown to Franky and the Courtney family which this week prompted the father-of-three to issue a heartfelt message of thanks.

Franky said any nerves leading up to the April 4 occasion soon disappeared as he arrived through the hotel's front doors.

“There was a serious crowd there,” he recalled. “I really couldn't get over it, especially as it was a work night, it was unbelievable.

“I was actually very apprehensive going in and didn't know how I would react to the crowd but when I came in everyone started coming over and were very friendly and supportive.

“I felt at home straight away. The whole thing made me feel very appreciative, so much so that I have never felt more at home in a community than I have these past couple of months.”

He had special praise for the organising committee, which was chaired by local councillor Martin Mulleady. In a statement this week, the committee expressed their gratitude to the night's various entertainers, MC Sinead Hussey and Padraic Davis, who oversaw a special raffle.

“Words cannot express our thanks for the kindness and generosity of all the people who supported the benefit night in aid of Maureen.

“It really has shown what high regard and respect Maureen and the Courtney/McCann family are held in,” read a statement.

For the moment, Frankie said the occasion and the events of April 4 last will live with him for a long time to come.

“To everyone who sold tickets and spread the word, I can't put into words how grateful I am.

“To everyone who supported me and Maureen's family, we are so, so grateful,” he concluded.