Local community ready and raring to go for Rickie
'The response has 'surpassed all of our expectations'
When news broke that Rickie Healy from Ballyclough had suffered catastrophic injuries following a holiday accident last year, family and friends immediately swung into action to raise money needed to offset the cost of his repatriation and ongoing medical treatment.
Rickie was holidaying on the Spanish island of Ibiza with friends last July when he dived into a swimming pool at their holiday resort. Unknown to Rickie, a strong swimmer and all-round sportsman, he had dived into the shallow end, striking his head and neck on the bottom of the pool.
The severe nature of his injuries meant that Rickie was airlifted to the nearby island of Majorca, where he was treated in intensive care for a number of days before being given the all-clear to fly back to Ireland.
He is currently at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoighaire. While Rickie's long-term prognosis is as yet uncertain, he will have significant on-going medical needs and expenses.
To date the Rickie Healy Appeal Trust Fund has raised almost half of its €150,000 target, thanks to the generosity of the many people who have supported the various events held under its banner.
The latest of these, the culmination of the 'Rearing for Rickie' initiative in conjunction with Kanturk Co-Operative Mart, will take place on Friday, March 23 at the Kanturk Marts Complex when more than 50 weanling's and other items will be auctioned off in aid of the appeal.
Organiser Caroline O'Connell said the response to the latests initiative, which has been on-going for a number of months, had "surpassed all of our expectations."
"The idea behind 'Rearing for Rickie' was to approach businesses asking each of them to sponsor the cost of a weanling. The weanling was named after the company and reared by a local farmer who has in turn covered all the costs involved," said Caroline.
"A number of weanling's have also been donated by local farmers or have been sponsored by Rickie's family and friends. The level of support that we have received throughout from local and national business and farmers has been just incredible," she added.
Caroline said the auction night promises to be great fun, with a raffle and entertainment courtesy of the great Liam O'Connor.
Of course, the main order of business will be the auction, with a profile of top class animals across various breeds including Limousin, Aberdeen Angus, Hereford and Charlois set to go under the hammer.
"These have been picked out by expert and reared by top-class farmers, so the auction will offer buyers the opportunity to pick up some truly magnificent animals with all of the proceeds going to the appeal," said Caroline.
"This will be a fantastic night for a brilliant cause. So, pencil the date into your dairies and come out to lend your support," she added.
For more information about the initiative and if you would like to make a contribution or get involved in any way contact 086 191 6117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Rickey Healy Appeal and to view a short video made by Rickie's friends and family telling his story visit the dedicated appeal Facebook page.
Donations to the appeal can also be made online at www.gofundme.com/rickie-healy-appeal-fund.