The infamous ‘Lodge of Love’ will return for one night only next month as part of a special fundraiser for Pulmonary Fibrosis Northern Ireland (NI).

The Lodge of Love will return on February 4 at the Enniskillen Hotel and has been organised by Clare Donohoe – the Fermanagh and Tyrone ambassador for Pulmonary Fibrosis NI (PFNI).

Part of the offerings include a support group which benefits people right across NI.

Clare’s husband, Tom, was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) in August, 2019. IPF is a progressive, fatal disease, and there is no cure for it.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter alongside the chair of PFNI, Tom McMillen, Clare said: “We are doing some fundraising for the charity, and it [the Lodge of Love] was an idea that came to me maybe six months ago.

"I am of the era of the Lodge of Love, or the Fortlodge, and all those sorts of discos.

"I reached out to Michael Cadden at the Enniskillen Hotel, as it is now, and he said yes to hosting it, thankfully!

"The idea behind it was to have fun, and to give people of our era something to reminisce about, and to have a bit of craic.

"We have all been locked up with Covid-19 for the last few years, and of course, we want to raise awareness of this devastating disease in the local community."

She added: "There has been great chat and banter about the event online, and on Facebook, if you mention 'the Lodge of Love', people just smile! It will be an 80s, 90s and 00s disco, with Conor McCann [DJ Rockstar]."

Commenting on fundraising in the area, Tom noted: “Clare does a lot of hard work there, fundraising and raising awareness through fundraising that has helped us to recently buy a new respite facility on the Causeway Coast, near Ballycastle town centre.

"The money raised at this event will help keep it going. It is the only respite facility in the island of Ireland; there is only one other respite facility in the UK, and that’s in Norfolk."

Explaining where money raised goes, Tom said: “Every penny we get goes toward helping patients. Our ethos is to help the patients today, but we will put some finance into the research.

"When people get this devastating diagnosis, [it comes] with a short life expectancy for many of them, as there is no cure for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

"There are very black days for families; we also link up with Solas in Ballycastle, and they provide well-being services such as counselling.”

Detailing what symptoms people need to look out for, Tom said: “What people tend to think is, 'I’m just a wee bit older and slowing down', and they keep getting chest infections and won’t present themselves to their GP, especially men [tend not to act on the signs].

"If there is a slowing down, a shortness of breath, or a dry and constant cough, they should be presenting to their GP and asking their GP for a proper check to make sure it is not something beyond a routine chest infection.”

Continuing, he said: “It’s not just 'an old person’s condition' – we have people from their forties up with the disease. It is a disease not many people know about.

“There needs to be more awareness for the general population and the medical profession, because the sooner this is picked up, the sooner people can get on medication.

"There are medications that are known to slow down the progression of fibrosis in your lungs, and can extend your life by two or three years.

"Their life expectancy could [then] be five to eight years [from diagnosis], which could be vital for some people; getting to walk your daughter down the aisle, seeing a grandchild being born, or a child go to school. These are all important landmarks.”

Tickets for the Lodge of Love on February 4 are available from the Enniskillen Hotel, JT Ryan’s Bar, The Lough Inn and are priced at £20 per person.

The evening will begin at 8pm, and dress from the 1980s, 90s or 2000s is strongly encouraged. Tickets can also be purchased via