Former homeless man hires busker for €50 to help in €80,000 fundraiser for child’s op

By Lauren Fetherston

A former homeless man-turned performer – hired a busker for €50 to help him raise cash last minute for a little boy in need of a €80,000 operation after a guitarist pulled out last minute.

Glenn Gannon, who penned Miracle Man, from homeless to Hollywood, after living rough on the streets of Dublin – clearly used his survival techniques to make the most of a bad situation when he was due to sing on stage to help raise cash for four-year-old Rory Gallagher, who needs a vital operation in the U.S to help him walk without a frame and to live a pain free life.

Glenn Gannon, homeless advocate, author and actor
Glenn Gannon, homeless advocate, author and actor

Gannon’s guitarist had to cancel last minute and the actor, who’s starred alongside big hitters including, Anne Hathaway, decided to use his cheeky Dublin charm to hire the busker for a charity fundraiser at the uber posh Lillie’s Bordello nightclub in the city.

Gannon said that after taking a walk up Grafton street to clear his head he heard a busker playing the guitar and offered him €50 to help with this event. Gannon said:  “There was no way I was letting little Rory down”.

Rory, from Sligo, who has cerebral palsy, has fought all the odds to walk following life-changing surgery in the U.S last year – but now his parents are being forced to sell their home to raise the funds to bring their boy back to America for further surgery to improve the child’s quality of life.

Mum Shauna Gallagher told Ireland Today:  “Unfortunately I couldn’t be as involved in organising this as Rory has been in and out of hospital because he’s been having seizures,” but she added that she was overwhelmed by the support and for the help of the organiser Sharon Hennessy.

“All Rory talks about is walking and boxing,” she added, explaining how important the next operation, scheduled for December, is.

Four-year-old Rory Gallagher in his mother, Shauna's arms in hospital
Four-year-old Rory Gallagher in his mother, Shauna’s arms in hospital

Acts at the Sing a Song for Rory event included actor and performer, Nourice Stephens, Glenn Gannon and Red Rock actor, Steven Mangan.

A raffle took place during the night last Friday and a magic mirror, used to capture fun photos of the revellers, was introduced to raise further funds.

The event began at 7:30pm and the venue was packed despite the rain.

Fair City actors, Dave O’Sullivan and George McMahon, presented the show, cracking jokes. And Patrick James and Teena Gates sang for Rory, with Mr and Miss Ireland Darren king and Niamh Kennedy making an appearance.

Nourice Stephens performed some of his songs and ended his performance informing the crowd of his charity single.

Stephens has released the official EP single for Rory’s wish to walk, ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’, with all the funds raised from this single going to Rory and his family.

You can donate to the cause here at Rory Gallagher’s Wish to Walk.

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