Musician Bap Kennedy reveals cancer diagnosis

Bap Kennedy was rushed into hospital earlier this month
Bap Kennedy was rushed into hospital earlier this month

Messages of support have “overwhelmed” popular singer-songwriter Bap Kennedy who has revealed his recent cancer diagnosis.

The 53-year-old from west Belfast revealed his diagnosis as the reason he had to cancel a number of gigs.

In a blog post Mr Kennedy – who is noted for his collaborations with Steve Earle, Van Morrison, Shane MacGowan and Mark Knopfler – said: “On Saturday May 7th I was supposed to be performing at the Acoustic Yard Festival in Westport Co Mayo...

“That didn’t happen. Instead early on Saturday morning I found myself being driven to the A and E dept of the Ulster Hospital by Brenda in absolute agony with stomach pains.

“The next 24 hours went past in a blur of examinations, medication, anxious family members and the very real possibility of an emergency operation.”

In the blog he pays tribute to the staff in the Ulster Hospital.

He said: “Kindness was everywhere and all pervasive, as if the cold indifferent universe outside the hospital windows didn’t really exist.

“The world of terror and greed and vanity pumped into our TVs and devices – the world we think we know and think we live in.

“My stay in the ‘Ulster’ was one of the most life affirming experiences I can ever recall ... even though it included a cancer diagnosis and days of agony. It made me realise how precious an enterprise is our National Health Service.”

In a post on his Facebook page on May 14, his wife said: “Bap has been overwhelmed by the huge number of comments & messages of support & goodwill coming in from every corner of the globe. He hasn’t read them all yet but I’m going to print them all out for him to read over in his own time.

“It means a lot to him to feel so much positive energy coming his way, & he’s decided to keep a blog about his health crisis so he can keep in touch with everyone.”

Messages on Facebook include: “I’m a porter in the Ulster Hospital. I was also a patient in ward 7 a few years ago.

“Anyone and everyone is equal in our hospital. And your words are greatly appreciated by us all. From the surgeon to the cleaners.

“Get well soon.”