Sunday 17 December 2017

Priest takes freezing plunge to raise funds

David Raleigh

BRRR in Lough Gur.

A priest jumped into a bitterly cold lake yesterday to raise funds for a man who was left paralysed after falling from a tree.

Fr Joe Foley, the curate at St Peter & Paul's church in Bruff, Co Limerick, was joined by three other men for the icy festive fundraiser at Lough Gur.

Johnny Ryan (23) from Ardekeohane, Bruff, broke his neck in three places after falling from a height of 15 feet while cutting down trees at his home last July.

Mr Ryan has nearly completed three months of sustained physiotherapy at the National Rehabilitation Centre as he attempts to regain some movement in his legs.

"They have been brilliant, every part of the rehabilitation centre is busy and they're trying to make money where there isn't any, but they're doing their best for me and everybody up there, so it's a great place to be," the former healthcare assistant at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick said yesterday.

"For sure, everybody has been so great around the place. They've done so much and it's always good to see Joe Foley jumping into a cold lake on a Monday morning," he laughed.

Johnny's dad, Sean, said neighbours and friends had been fantastic in helping his recovery.

Fr Foley said: "It was freezing but it was a worthy cause. Johnny is a lovely young fella, and a very popular lad, so we did it just to try and help him, that's it really."

For more information, visit the 'Johnny Ryan Benefit Fund' Facebook page.

Irish Independent

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