Hundreds of people braved the elements last weekend to take part in the inaugural Silvermines Memorial Walk and raise tens of thousands of euro for North Tipperary Hospice Movement.
Organised by Silvermines GAA club, the 24-hour walk commenced on Saturday at 1pm with the lighting of a memorial candle by members of the Grace family, who were bereaved following the death of Silvermines GAA club member Ger.
Following the lighting ceremony, brollies were lifted in unison and as participants took to the rain-sodden track for the first leg of the 24-hour walk.
Entertainment was provided throughout the afternoon and as the evening progressed the winds abated and the rain relented. With midnight approaching walkers gathered for the poignant lighting of the memorial candles and the celebration of midnight Mass by Fr Brendan Moloney, PP, Silvermines. Walkers then embarked on the hardest leg of the walk before the coming of dawn heralded a renewed vigour
The walk was brought to a close in bright November sunshine with the planting of a memorial tree to honour and remember all those who have died from the parish and beyond.
Kay O’Donoghue, chair, North Tipperary Hospice Movement, said she was “amazed” at the effort put in by everyone and pointed out that the funds raised would assist over 800 people who are avail of hospice services in North Tipperary.
Maurice Leamy, chair of Silvermines GAA Club, said he was overwhelmed by the show of support for the walk.
“I know I speak for everyone in the club when I say we were overwhelmed by the show of support from people from the parish and from all over North Tipperary. There are so many people that assisted us in organising the event and so many who willingly gave of their free time and services. I would like to extend our appreciation to everyone who helped us out in any way with the event,” Maurice said.
“The sense of community spirit was unbelieveable right throughout the 24 hours and only for the good will of everyone we would have not been able to stage the walk,” Maurice added.
He stressed that all funds raised will go to North Tipperary Hospice Movement.
“While we had no initial target when we first came together to organise the event we have been overwhelmed by the support shown by everbody. We had in excess of 40 teams participating while numerous people dropped in to buy candles and drop in donations. We are waiting before all the monies are collected before announcing a final figure but at this stage we are looking at tens of thousands of euro, which is absolutely fantastic. We will be announcing the final figure in the coming weeks and presenting the amount to the North Tipperary Hospice,” he said.