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Sunday 21 September 2014

'I will fight killer disease' pledges TD McFadden

Sam Griffin

Published 30/08/2014 | 02:30

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Trinity College Dublin neurologists and research students do the dunking at the ice bucket challenge for politicians including Mary Hanafin, Roisin Shortall, Caoimhghin O Caolain, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Mairead McGuinness, Joe Costello, Richard Boyd Barrett, and Gabrielle McFadden. Photo: Jean Curran.
Trinity College Dublin neurologists and research students do the dunking at the ice bucket challenge for politicians including Mary Hanafin, Roisin Shortall, Caoimhghin O Caolain, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Mairead McGuinness, Joe Costello, Richard Boyd Barrett, and Gabrielle McFadden. Photo: Jean Curran.

A GOVERNMENT TD whose sister died following a long-battle with motor neuron disease has said a cure for the illness can be found if people continued to donate to causes like the ice bucket challenge.

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Longford-Westmeath Dail deputy Gabrielle McFadden yesterday completed the bone-chilling challenge in Trinity College Dublin alongside a host of other politicians, including TDs, MEPs and Senators.

The event was organised by the university's Institute for Neuroscience and the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association (IMNDA).

Ms McFadden yesterday paid tribute to the association, which supported her family when her sister, Nicky McFadden, battled the killer illness.

"I'm delighted to do it. It's a great cause. Obviously the Motor Neuron Association was very good to us in our hour of need. They do amazing work."

She also praised the work of Prof Orla Hardiman, from Trinity College, who is leading research into motor neuron disease.

"When we were attending Beaumont, Prof Hardiman told us she felt that in her working lifetime there would be a cure for motor neuron disease," she said.

"Unfortunately it wasn't in time for Nicky, but I will work tirelessly to make sure that it is there for the next tranche of poor people who are going to suffer."

Former minister and current Fianna Fail Cllr Mary Hanafin took on the challenge in honour of her late cousin June Culliton, who she described as "a wonderful lady and cousin" who fought the disease "with great bravery".

Irish donations from the ice bucket challenge topped €1m this week.

Irish Independent

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