THE inaugural Silvermines GAA Memorial Walk and Midnight Mass has raised in excess of €50,000 for the North Tipperary Hospice.
The 24-hour walk, which took place on November 1, brought together hundreds of people from all over North Tipperary in a bid to raise funds for the hospice movement.
Speaking at the presentation of a cheque for €50,746 to the hospice at a presentation function in The Eagles Nest, Dolla, Silvermines GAA club chairman, Maurice Leamy lauded all who assisted in raising what he described as a “phenomenal” figure.
“On behalf of the Silvermines GAA club and organising committee I would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to everyone who took part in the event and in the process raised much needed funds for the hospice. We were overwhelmed by the show of support from people from the parish and from all over North Tipperary. There were so many people that assisted us in organising the event, many more that participated, 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 what proved a hugely successful event,” Maurice said.
“Hundreds of people braved inclement weather conditions to take part in the walk and the sense of community spirit in evidence over the two days was just unbelievable. It brought together our whole community not just to raise funds but to also remember family, friends and clubmates who have succumbed to this devastating disease,” he added.
Maurice’s sentiments were echoed by Silvermines PP, Fr Brendan Moloney who described the Memorial Walk and Midnight Mass as a “resounding success” and “one of the highlights” of his tenure as parish priest in the Silvermines.
“The sense of community spirit was overwhelming and to see everyone, both young and old, come together and unite to achieve their goal was incredible. It truly was a humbling experience and it was a privilege to be part of this event,” Fr. Moloney said.
Tributes were also paid to the late Ger Grace, a former Silvermines hurler, coach and mentor whose untimely passing provided the catalyst for the organising of the walk.
Both Mr. Leamy and Fr. Moloney paid tribute to the Grace family for extending their permission to organise the event in memory of the late Ger, who died on last June 18. Ger’s father, Danny, thanked all who had been involved in the organisation of the walk and praised the efforts of everyone involved.
Accepting the cheque on behalf of the hospice, the chairperson of the Nenagh Branch of the North Tipperary Hospice, Kay O’Donoghue said she was “overwhelmed” at the effort put in by everyone in organising the event.
“To say I am bowled over by the final amount is an understatement. As chairperson of the Nenagh Branch it gives me great pleasure to accept this cheque on behalf of the North Tipperary Hospice. It is a fantastic achievement to have raised such a phenomenal figure and on behalf of the hospice I would like to pay tribute to the Silvermines GAA club, the participants, the organising committee and the Grace family.”
Mrs O’Donoghue added that 800 people are presently availing of hospice services in North Tipperary and pointed out that the funds raised would go towards the continued provision of palliative care to patients from all over North Tipperary.
The North Tipperary Hospice “In Home Care” movement is a community based, non-profit organisation which promotes and supports the development of hospice and palliative care in North Tipperary. The organisation supplies specialised equipment and psychological and social support for patients and their families at end stage of life as well and funding two cancer support centres.
The organisation depends on the generosity of the community, as 100 per cent of the funding to maintain these vital services, comes from donations and not from any governmental bodies or other stakeholders.
The main ethos of the Hospice is to provide palliative care in supporting people at their end stage of life affording them the dignity of dying in their own homes surrounded by family and friends.
At the time of going to press funds raised were still rolling and it is expected that the eventual final figure will top the €52,000 mark.