Hugo Duncan: Thoughts for old pals who are unwell
I would like to extend my best wishes to three entertainers who are currently battling ill-health.
Terence McKeague, Francie Donnelly and Seamus McMahon all operate within their own individual fields, but they are bonded by a love of country music.
Terence is well-known as a concert compere and is more than capable of performing himself. He has been part and parcel of the Ulster entertainment scene for more years than he might care to remember and is held in the highest esteem by all with whom he is acquainted.
Francie Donnelly hails from Magherafelt and first performed on stage when he was just 10 years of age.
That was over 30 years ago, but during that time Francie has travelled extensively. He has performed in England, Scotland and the United States and is regarded as a fine singer.
Now in his late 40s, he is recovering from illness and I send him my best wishes.
I also extend warm regards to Seamus McMahon, the popular lead guitarist with John Glenn and the Mainliners, who is hospitalised just now.
The quiet-spoken, modest and unassuming Seamus is credited with providing the distinctive sound for which the Mainliners are famous and he certainly played a big part in bringing the band to initial prominence all those years ago.
Seamus's brother Henry was also one of the founder members of the band and has been performing with the outfit on their current tour.
Henry also manages the very popular Gerry Guthrie and his band and is also a noted songwriter. In this capacity, he has penned hits for several well-known Irish artists.