The West Tipperary Mental Health Association set out on a mission last Saturday in Tipperary town to promote positive mental health through music on the streets for all to enjoy. In research it is well documented the benefits of music to mental health and this was very evident from the people of all ages as they laughed and clapped to the music joining in the festivities in Tipperary town on Saturday afternoon at the Balance Busking Competition.
There were twenty three entries from very accomplished musicians with a wide genre of music. Over fifty three musicians and artists took to the streets from 2.00 to 4.00 to compete for the cash prize of €600 where the winner would take all.
The judges on the day were musicians and composers taking part in the Song for Peace Contest on that night in the Excel Theatre. They were in total awe of the quality and variety of talent which Tipperary had to offer. One stated it was the highlight of their holiday and were honoured to be part of the event.
The West Tipperary Mental Health Association would like to thank, most sincerely, all those who entered this competition. The feedback has been very positive from shoppers, tourists and, business people alike. At four o’ clock five finalists competed for the cash prize and entertained some 250 people who had gathered in the sunshine to soak up all the energy that this event had to offer. In third place came Thrupence- Brid Og Dwyer, Lorraine Murphy and Jenny Murphy- who played traditional Irish music at its best. In second place was Mel Doherty from Donaskeigh playing a mixture of music from pop and country to Irish ballads. In first place came The Mangled Badgers, four extremely talented musicians from Lattin who won the hearts of the town last Saturday as they played and sang and interacted with the crowd and lifted the main street with positivity. The young men were, brothers Simon and Patrick Crehan, Kevin Kinane and Shane McGrath, ranging from nine years of age to fifteen. The prizes were presented by Terry, a musician from Oklahoma and the eyes of the winners lit up as they were presented with their €600 cash prize. Patrick Crehan spoke on behalf of the group. He thanked the organisation for putting on such a wonderful event and how they had enjoyed the day.Libby Carew-Eichholz,PRO of the Association, spoke briefly to the crowd on matters of Mental Health and explained that the reason it was called Balance was that indeed that is what Mental health is all about. Balance in our lives. She Thanked the Association for all the hard work on making the day possible and also Cllr Mary Hannah Hourigan as well as family and friends who helped to make the event possible. She thanked the people of Tipperary for their ongoing support and explained that the planning into this event was very short but that next year it would be bigger and better.