Jack O'Rourke and band, Karen Underwood, and More to Host Benefit Concert at Crane Lane Theatre

While the services are funded by the HSE, Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Social Protection, SHC recently faced a cut of €50,000 in grants. "Sexual health services are not easy to fundraise for as because of the stigma, most people who access our services and provide glowing feedback to us, do not tell others about them. We have been described on more than one occasion as Cork's "best kept secret" says Deirdre Seery.

The Sexual Health Centre is celebrating 30 years as a charity delivering sexual health services in Cork. The Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald stressed the importance of providing prevention programmes for Cork as a Healthy City. Ciarán Lynch, Chairperson of SHC, said "I am proud to be involved with the Sexual Health Centre, an organisation that has such an impact on peoples' lives".

Deirdre Seery, CEO, has worked at the SHC for 27 of its 30 years. "We were initially set up in 1987 to respond to the crisis of HIV at a time when there were no services available to HIV positive people for treatment, support or prevention in Cork. At that time people died of AIDS, often alone and without family support, HIV was highly stigmatised".

In the mid 1990's, treatments were combined effectively to change the face of HIV so that people could live with HIV rather than die of AIDS. The treatments have become so effective that now those receiving it are unlikely to pass HIV onto sexual partners. "This has totally changed the way we work" says Seery. It is now imperative that everyone knows their HIV status. SHC provides free rapid HIV testing with results in one minute at our centre and in community settings". The pilot for this was so successful that the HSE has agreed to fund it.

SHC broadened into the field of sexual health in 1997. Community Health Workers provide sexual health advice, support and counselling on a range of sexual health issues, including sex education, pregnancy testing, out-of-hours STI screening, HIV and Hepatitis C testing. "We particularly promote our services to people in vulnerable situations, such as homelessness and addiction, as they may not be aware of their risks and that treatments are available for them", says Susan Walsh, Community Health Worker. At the Sexual Health the staff feel it is vitally important to "see the person, not just the problem" and the core of all work a person centred approach from the moment that they walk in the door or pick up a phone.

While the services are funded by the HSE, Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Social Protection, SHC recently faced a cut of 50,000 in grants

Jack O'Rourke really admires the 30 year legacy of Deirdre and her team at Cork's Sexual Health Centre and looks forward to playing the 30th Anniverary for CSHC with his band at the Crane. Expect originals and some nods to 30 years of music!

Jack O'Rourke's recently released debut album, "Dreamcatcher", with the was critically acclaimed and reached No.5 in the Irish Album Charts - just below Drake!

"This is a seriously good album from a seriously good songwriter. **** "

Tony Clayton Lea, The Irish Times

Winning in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition for lyrics for the album's centerpiece ballad, "Silence", (performed live on The Late Late Show) judged by industry legends Tom Waits and Bill Withers, O'Rourke continues to sell out shows around the country, from The Everyman Theatre to Whelans. Recently, Jack performed "Dreamcatcher" in it's entirity at Cork Opera House with an orchestra.

With all his singles playlisted on mainstream radio thus far, 2017 sees Jack O'Rourke setting out his stall with collaborations with Cohen collaborator Hattie Webb (The Webb Sisters), as well as critically acclaimed electronica duo, FreezerRoom for a future opus and he has headlining slots at Festivals including,

Jack really admires the 30 year legacy of Deirdre and her team at Cork's Sexual Health Centre and looks forward to playing the 30th Anniverary for CSHC with his band at the Crane. Expect originals and some nods to 30 years of music!

KAREN UNDERWOOD

Karen Underwood is Cork's undisputed Queen of Soul. Although a singer of immense finesse and versatility, with a tone that would make Aretha bow and a versatile artist, singing restrained jazz standards or powerhouse rnb, it's her passion and emotion that she injects into every seering performance. Karen is the real deal, she loses herself in her music and transports her audience to the stratesphere - free from pain and allows them to feel free and without inhibition.

"Karen to me, is soul personified - she oozes musicality and her voice is a thing of beauty - the human condition, with all it's highs and lows free from any suppression", Jack O'Rourke

Karen's award winning shows "The Nina in Me" and "The Lades of Lost and Found" are unique, spiritual experiences - raw passion and honesty are always delivered. Karen's beautiful voice, combined with her interpretations of the music of Nina, Amy, Dinah, Judy, connected to her own personal triumphs over adversity are riveting, essential artistic experiences for any music lover.

Karen is no stranger to benefits or charity work. In fact, she has leant her voice to so many noble causes and Cork's Soul Queen is gonna rock the house for CSHC's 30th Birthday!

MARLENE ENRIGHT

Marlene Enright's solo debut album, "Placemats and Second Cuts" showcases her passions and influences. Written and recorded over a year, the result is a melange of the heavy grooves of RnB, the warmth and nostalgia of great folk songs and the richness of thickly layered harmonies. It is the sound of modern roots music, evolved as it has over decades to something that is unmistakably 21st Century, while still carrying echoes of the past.

Marlene is one of Ireland's most progressive, critically acclaimed songwriters -she is thrilled to be in involved in the 30th birthday celebrations of one of Ireland's most important health institutions. Expect some duets!

SAINT CAOILIAN

Saint Caoilian has just released his debut The Farqwqy EP coming on the back of a year of prestigious support shows with Roy Harper, Ryley Walker and a recent tour around Ireland with Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg.

Having worked as a potato picker, a Santa Claus, a temp at an ill-fated music store, an obscenely quiet busker, a barman, a sexual health teacher. He has sold vases and scarves at flea markets and played the part of a "moving picture" at a Harry Potter themed wedding. Work which has, in one way or another, encouraged a lot of introspection.

Throughout this time he has been a musician and a DJ, based in the south of Ireland.

Playing guitar and writing songs since the age of fifteen, well worn through years in rock and roll bands he has very recently begun playing solo shows that reflect a folkier and sparser terrain. Backed with an electric guitar, a sense of entitlement and an overly sentimental view of almost everything - his music reflects a part of his record collection that hosts Paul Simon, John Prine and more recent luminaries like Bill Ryder Jones and Angel Olsen.


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