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Grassroots club of the week: Clare Crusaders 10 years on

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A group of Clare Crusaders who ran the Dublin Marathon PHOTO: Donal Glackin

A group of Clare Crusaders who ran the Dublin Marathon PHOTO: Donal Glackin

A group of Clare Crusaders who ran the Dublin Marathon PHOTO: Donal Glackin

A group of 60 runners from Clare Crusaders - all wearing their distinctive orange t-shirts, gathered outside Buswell's Hotel for the annual team photo before the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon.

Shortly before the photo was taken, Crusader Pat Bogue stepped forward to deliver his motivational speech to the group, during which he paid tribute to the memory of the late Howard Flannery and Katie Kelly - two great stalwarts of this Clare club.

The Clare Crusaders Running Club has been in operation for 10 years and club members are big fans of the Clare Crusaders Children's Clinic in Ennis, which was established in 2007 to support the great work that the clinic staff do for over 350 children with special needs across the county.

The clinic operates entirely through self-generated funds raised at events and between them the 60 Crusaders who ran the Dublin Marathon raised over €40,000.

Included in the Dublin group was Mike Dennehy, taking part in his 10th consecutive Dublin event. Other long-standing members who ran in Dublin included Cormac O'Sullivan, Siobhan Landy, Flan Sheedy, Patrick O'Neill, Theresa Murphy and Frank Cassidy.

The clinic has a special place in the hearts and minds of all members of the Clare Crusaders Running Club; it helps children across a wide spectrum of special needs and is a greatly valued resource for their parents. The clinic has to survive on an annual operating budget of €250,000 and manages to do so without government funding.

The committee is always looking to attract new members to help with fundraising. The services at the Children's Clinic are all free of charge to parents and include speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and special education teaching.

To join the Crusaders on some of their other marathon running adventures, contact the club at www.clarecrusaders.ie.

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