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16 Aug 2022

PICTURES: Concert to remember Willy Bermingham at Kildare's Westgrove Hotel

In memory of the much-loved musical theatre stalwart

On Saturday, November 27, the Westgrove Hotel, Clane played host to a special evening of music and entertainment, remembering Willy Bermingham, who sadly, passed away last May.

Willy was a stalwart of the musical society family in North Kildare, performing in productions with Clane Musical & Dramatic Society, Kilcock Musical & Dramatic Society and Naas Musical Society and was a well loved and respected actor throughout the greater musical society family in Ireland.

Willy had a love of musicals from an early age, and in his late teens joined Kilcock Musical Society playing parts in several shows such as The Sound of Music, Fiddler on The Roof, Finian’s Rainbow and many more.

He then joined Clane Musical Society performing in Jesus Christ Superstar, Hot Mikado, Some Like It Hot and Pirates of Penzance which he also played with Naas Musical Society.

On Saturday night, Willy’s friends and family celebrated his musical theatre life, at a concert with performances of songs that Willy had either sung on stage, or especially loved. The concert was carried out in full accordance with all of the recent Covid-19 guidelines, which did not stop the audience from having a fantastic night, filled with laughter, smiles and a few tears along the way.

Concert organiser Art McGauran said, “We really wanted to celebrate Willy’s musical theatre life, by putting on a special performance in his memory. We also wanted to show Willy’s three beautiful girls, Victoria, Georgia and Alicia, how we remember him and through some of the videos we have shown tonight, they got the chance to see their Dad on stage, doing what he did best — putting a big smile on all of our faces.”

Willy’s wife, Libby bravely took to the stage to tell the audience how blown away she was with the support. She said that she cannot thank everyone enough and will be forever grateful. A moment’s silence was held for anyone whose loved ones have passed away and Libby finished her speech with a beautiful poem that was so fitting for our ‘Will’ —

Gone from us that smiling face,
the cheerful pleasant ways.
The heart that won so many friends,
In bygone, happy days.
A life made beautiful by kindly deeds,
a helping hand for other’s needs.
Comes a happy end.
He died as he lived,
Everyone’s friend

All the proceeds for the concert will go straight to Willy’s girls, and a Go Fund Me Page has been set up to raise even more funds, and will stay open until December 17.

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