Memorial Music Event Drumming up Funds for Action Mental Health New Horizons Downpatrick

The forthcoming Splinter’s Music Bash set in the enigmatic surroundings of Ballydugan Mill just outside Downpatrick, plans to drum up cash through music for Action Mental Health services in Downpatrick. The free event on Saturday 18 May in memory of the late Downpatrick-based Dr Stan Papenfus, will showcase the prolific variety of local musical talent.

Although the event is free to attend, an on the day donation goal of £2000 has been set with all money raised supporting vital mental health services at Action Mental Health’s Downpatrick service.

Dr Stan Papenfus was highly regarded in the mental health field, working locally as a psychotherapist in Downe Hospital, Downpatrick. He was also a lecturer, author and a proponent of using music creatively to unlock emotions and increase happiness. Stan’s sons Ken and Carl are both musicians well-known in the industry. The pair are currently part of the RTE Late Late Show house band and will attend the Ballydugan event as guests.

Event organiser and percussionist Aiden Milligan said, “We are suggesting £5 donations at the door. Ballydugan are providing free food and the craic will be great with some of the best local bands playing their sets in the atmospheric setting of Ballydugan Mill. It’s a day of celebration of music and of life and of remembrance of Stan and all for a great cause!”

Aiden met Stan while on his own mental health recovery journey and their shared appreciation of music and outlook on life forged a life-long friendship. Aiden said, “Stan was an academic but first and foremost he was a people person. He had a genuine interest in everybody’s story and where he could help he would.”

Aiden has music in his blood, performing in various bands and providing session backing for local groups including those with learning difficulties, non-verbal groups and mental health groups. Aiden is also an accomplished Bodhran player, initially learning how to play the instrument in 1992 and later reaching the all-Ireland final. He then became involved with novice musicians offering tuition over a 16-year period.

Aiden said, “We’re really delighted to announce that the gig will feature artists such as Speedy Mullan Blues Band, Black Dog Moon, Mark Higgins Band, Davy McBennett Band, Conal Montgomery, The Bin Lids and The Anchor Ukes. It will be great to have them all under one roof, for such a great cause and in memory of such a fantastic man.”

Continuing, “Stan was greatly respected as a renowned cultural anthropologist, psychotherapist, ecumenist, community musician and writer and was a great advocate for bringing people together through music and creativity. This could be through the use of simple beats, drum rhythms, clapping, dancing, singing or moving to music. So remembering Stan in aid of Action Mental Health through music is very apt.”

The approximate running order times for The Bash performers are as follows:

Harvey Vint 4.00pm; Tommy McNulty 4.3pm; Davy McBennett Band 5.00pm; 3s a Crowd 6.00pm; Conal Montgomery 6.30pm; The Bin Lids 7.00pm; Black Dog Moon 8.00pm; Mark Higgins Band 9.00pm; Caroline Nyaka Chana 10.00pm; Tura 10.30pm; The Speedy Mullan Band 11.00pm – 12.30am

For more information on fundraising please visit or email [email protected] or scan the QR link below.

Image: Organiser, Aiden Milligan.

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