Tullamore man Colin Hughes is well known for hosting the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) awards and for his new stage school Stage Stars Academy.
Right now he’s in the middle of a three week interrailing trip around Europe that’s included stops in Germany, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
This weekend will be a highlight however, as he meets up with his father in Brussels before travelling to the grave of his great-grandfather James Hughes, who died while fighting in Flanders.
“It’s going to be emotional,” Colin told the Offaly Independent ahead of the visit.
James Hughes fought as part of the Leinster Regiment’s 2nd Battalion. After enlisting in Birr, the 36-year-old left behind his wife and seven children to take part in the war effort. Just weeks after entering active service he was mortally wounded however. He’s buried in Ypres.
Colin said as far as he knows however nobody from the family has visited James’ grave for at least 20 years. This weekend will change that, when Colin and his father spend two nights in the region.
“I’m so proud,” Colin said of his great-grandfather, adding that he’s delighted he is set to finally see his heroic relative’s final resting place.