Pádraig had a full house last night. Dozens of friends joined to celebrate Christmas with him. They brought food and drink. Some brought their instruments. Some staid for just a short time. Some left later, after the best seisiún ever.  There were many highlights. The incredible (Jamie Oliver-inspired) mulled wine, with many secret ingredients and a “drop” of poitín, apparently sourced from a teacher (!) from Connemara (you know who you are:). The fantastic food. The brilliant music. Above all, so so many friends, some of them hadn’t seen each other for months, some of them had just arrived from England and the US. – If you wondered about the Christmas spirit, if you wondered what Christmas was all about, it was all there last night.

It always seems to take a little while. And so it did last night. But eventually, the instruments were taken out and after some phenomenal traditional music, and a bit of a warm up, we were treated to some individual master pieces. Towards the end, the original Dreamboater Cast presented, or rather: joined in to the title track of that album they had put together after Pádraig’s accident to raise funding for his treatments – for me, it was the first time I heard that song live and I couldn’t but cry and, at the same time, be filled with energy and determination. The night finished with that famous song by Shane McGowan.

Got on a lucky one, came in eighteen to one. I’ve got a feeling this year’s for me and you. So happy Christmas. I love you baby. I can see a better time when all our dreams come true.

Dreamboaters ahoy!

Pádraig really had an incredible night with his friends. Who would have thought any of this would ever be possible again, when he was struggling for his life just a few years ago? Who would have thought we’d ever feel like celebrating Christmas again? To be happy and to share our happiness with each other over the Christmas days? It felt like a miracle, made possible by the friendship shared by Pádraig and his friends. Dreamboaters who will always do what is right and who won’t ever believe if someone tells them “this is impossible”. They are living proof that whatever you want to do, whether it is swimming around Ireland, making mulled wine with Connemara poitín, or recovering from the most life-changing injuries – is possible as long as you stick together and are there for your friends.

What a night! In 30 years time, I think many of Pádraig’s friends will remember this night: how beautiful and young everybody was, and how happy.