The last 6 months have been unprecedented, a global pandemic, a country in lockdown, frontline medical workers stretched to their limits and ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances. It is during extraordinary times that the true nature of people comes to the fore. The Irish people responded to this crisis by doing what they do best, an innate community spirit in all of us saw Irish healthcare workers overseas returning to the frontline, we checked in on our neighbours, a shortage of PPE inspired volunteers to make PPE, we lifted our friends and family up who were struggling with isolation and anxiety. Supermarkets stayed open and public transport continued to run. We held each other’s virtual hands.
It’s time to thank all those all people who made a difference. Hosted by Muireann O’Connell The Great Big Irish Thank You, sponsored by Cadbury, 7UP Free, Arachas, Starbucks and Doritos is a heart-warming, inspiring show at this landmark time in Irish history and will air on Virgin Media One on 4th October 2020 at 10pm. There will be music from headline act The Coronas and Christy Dignam, celebrity chats from Daniel O’Donnell plus many more and filming from around the country. This special 90 minute show, an Independent.ie initiative, will entertain and shine a light on those who we are all thankful for in these unprecedented times. It’s time to showcase how incredible the nation has been and continues to be during the Covid-19 crisis.
Danny O’Reilly of The Coronas said: “We’re delighted to be part of The Great Big Irish Thank You. With the way 2020 has gone so far, it’s definitely our biggest gig of the year! We know people need a distraction from Coronavirus so, having the most unfortunate band name in the world right now, we were surprised when we got the call! Seriously though, it’s set to be a great night and we’re planning a few surprises, we can’t wait.”
Daniel O’Donnell who will also take part said, “I am proud to be involved, to help thank the people of Ireland for all their courage during the dark days of Covid-19.”
Director of Content at Virgin Media Television, Bill Malone said: “The Great Big Irish Thank You is an evening of much needed escapism, entertainment and live music and an opportunity to take a moment to acknowledge, and say thank you, to everyone who has played their part, big and small, in making a difference with regard to the challenges this country has faced over the past months. Virgin Media Television is delighted to partner in such a positive and worthwhile initiative.”
This sentiment was very much shared by publisher of Independent News & Media, Peter Vandermeersch.
“It’s the biggest story of our lifetime: Covid-19 and its impact on the society,” he said. As a newspaper we have been covering each and every aspect of it: the scientific angle and the medical one; the consequences for our economy and our society; if we can have a holiday abroad or stick to a staycation; the consequences for schools and pubs. “But above all the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent and independent.ie have been writing about people — about men and women who became ill and people who paid the highest price.”
“But especially about all these people who were fighting the consequences of the pandemic: nurses and doctors, people who clean care homes or keep elderly people company, bus drivers and people working in supermarkets, newspaper sellers and delivery people.”
“We have a great common name for them: frontline workers. These people are the real heroes of this crisis. Our society kept functioning because of them. We want to put all these people in the spotlight, and say a big ‘thank you’. We will do this in a universal language: music. From the stage we make a very deep bow for all the frontline workers.”
The Great Big Irish Thank you is produced by Tyrone Productions for Virgin Media.
Amanda Dunleavy, Executive Producer Tyrone Productions, said: “We are delighted to partner with Independent.ie and Virgin Media Television to bring this very special show The Great Big Irish Thank You to air. Covid19 has asked so much of the Irish people and this is our chance through story and song to say a huge Thank You to all those who have supported and continue to support each other in these unprecedented times.”
On October 10th Today FM’s Fergal D’Arcy will also broadcast The Coronas’ performance from Independent.ie’s The Great Big Irish Thank You, plus extra songs and interviews with the band.