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Air Ambulance acknowledges kind support of Duhallow GAA clubs towards return of chopper

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Donal O’Connor (Ballydesmond), Shane Carroll (Kiskeam), Conor Lenihan (Ballydesmond) and Denis Hallissey (Kiskeam) scaled great heights to top the Duhallow Fittest Club

Donal O’Connor (Ballydesmond), Shane Carroll (Kiskeam), Conor Lenihan (Ballydesmond) and Denis Hallissey (Kiskeam) scaled great heights to top the Duhallow Fittest Club

Donal O’Connor (Ballydesmond), Shane Carroll (Kiskeam), Conor Lenihan (Ballydesmond) and Denis Hallissey (Kiskeam) scaled great heights to top the Duhallow Fittest Club

Boosted by Duhallow GAA clubs enthusiastically rallying to the cause, the Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR) has announced that the Rathcoole based air ambulance service will recommence daily operations from June 1.

The operation had been reduced for a number of months owing to a lack of funding following an unprecedented amount of missions and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the coronavirus posting a gloomy outlook for the prospect of Gaelic games in the immediate future, Ballydesmond and Kiskeam GAA clubs utilised the downtime to come up with a novel fundraising Duhallow Fittest Club event in aid of ICRR Rathcoole based Air Ambulance along with Kanturk and Millstreet Community Hospitals and The Burren Chernobyl Project also benefiting.

Twenty-one other clubs joined to run and walk a massive 40,835km and ongoing donations have passed €35,000.

Air Ambulance Operations Manager Ruth Bruton is thrilled to see a return to a seven days service thanks to donations and virtual fundraisers over recent weeks.

"We sincerely thank the public for making this possible, however, the ongoing challenge of keeping it there is our priority and continued support from those that can give is vital. Every mission counts, so every donation counts too," she said.

Ms Bruton applauded the innovative fundraiser, 'Duhallow's Fittest Club' where 23 GAA clubs clocked up whopping ground in a bid to raise funds for local charities including the ICRR Air Ambulance.

Owing to stalemate as to the determination of Duhallow Fittest Club, a showdown between Ballydesmond and Kiskeam this weekend will determine the bragging rights.

Meanwhile, the special GoFundMe page remains open, and a member of the Organising Committee, Sean Linehan, from Kiskeam, reminds GAA friends that just a few days remain to contribute to the fund.

"As one of the four causes benefiting, we chose the ICRR Air Ambulance as we see it as a vital service, not only for the Duhallow area, but for the entire Munster region. Participants were delighted to get some fun exercise in, whilst also helping raise vital funds in addition to some age-old GAA rivalries also surfacing," said Seán.

Corkman