A special country music drive in event is to take place in Enniskillen to help raise funds to help a teen living with autism, ADHD, a severe learning disability and extreme anxiety return home to Fermanagh.

Ruairi Smyth has been forced to live in a purpose-built facility for people with learning disabilities in Belfast and cannot return home full time to Fermanagh until the Western Health and Social Care Trust draw up a business case, a document his parents say they have been waiting on for almost a year.

Neil and Lorraine Smyth from Bellanaleck say the delay means their son Ruairi must remain living at Iveagh Centre, over an hour and a half away, where he has been since he was 11 because of a lack of adequate support in the county for his needs.

On hearing of Ruairi’s story, country musician Anthony McBrien decided to organise the Fermanagh’s Going Country To Bring Ruairi Home Drive In Show. In conjunction with the JMG Music Group, the event will take place on Thursday, August 27 at Stuart’s Carpark Enniskillen.

Event organiser Anthony McBrien said: “We all have kids and you don’t want to see a child being away for two years and not being able to go home. I just thought, ‘I need to do something for it. So I rang all my friends in the Fermanagh music business and not one of them refused. I knew that James McGarrity was doing drive-ins and the stage was going to be there and I decided just to put this together.”

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter about what this event and the support of the local country music scene means to his family, Ruairi’s dad Neil said: “It’s absolutely brilliant.”

“Shortly after the ‘Bring Ruairi Home’ campaign launched we were contacted by Lisa and Anthony McBrien offering to do whatever they could do to help so as part of that they got some of the local country stars, including Nathan Carter, to record short videos in support of bringing Ruairi home.”

Hoping to attend the event on August 27, Neil added: “Me and Lorraine normally go and see Ruairi on a Thursday evening and he’s quite specific about the times that we see him but we’re going to hopefully tell him that we have to be somewhere and we’ll make it to the event. “

“There’s huge interest from what I can gather.We can’t believe it, it’s brilliant,” he told this newspaper.

Tickets for the Fermanagh’s Going Country To Bring Ruairi Home Drive In Show, which will feature 11 country music acts, can be purchased from Mahon’s Hotel or by contacting Anthony directly on 07789026223. A great night of entertainment in aid of a worthy cause.