Wednesday 21 February 2018

Aaron's memory drives fundraiser

Theresa Cullen, Neal Cullen-Tobin and Lauren Murphy-Doyle
Theresa Cullen, Neal Cullen-Tobin and Lauren Murphy-Doyle
Aidan and Stacey Breen
Kristal Fox, Trish Kavanagh, Liz Fox, Eilish Fox and Vera Kavanagh
Aaron Cox, Robbie Fitzgerald, Lorraine Redmond and Willie Kavanagh
Frank Skelton, Bríd Skelton, Breda Dunne and Tom Dunne
Cars rolling out at the start of the Aaron 'Chip' Byrne Memorial Run

Pádraig Byrne

Nearly 150 cars of every kind of make and model descended on Bunclody recently for the second annual Aaron 'Chip' Byrne Memorial Run. While last year's event was somewhat of a last minute affair, this year Aaron's family and friends were determined to make it as big as possible and raise a significant amount of money for The Irish Kidney Association and Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin. Aaron passed away in August of 2015, aged just 24, after a lengthy battle with kidney illness. He spent a lot of time in Crumlin as a child and it's for that reason that these charities were picked as beneficiaries.

While the conditions were far from perfect with torrential rain over the course of the day, there was an extremely strong showing of local car enthusiasts from all over Wexford and Carlow. In particular, there was a strong showing of Japanese cars, a favourite of Aaron's with his own Honda Civic being his pride and joy. The drivers didn't let the conditions hamper them too much in any case and there was a great atmosphere as the run made its way from Bunclody to Kildavin, Clonegal, Ardattin, Tullow, Castledermot and Carlow where they stopped for a while before returning through Ballon.

'We're absolutely delighted with how it went, except for the weather,' said Aaron's sister Cora. 'We had double the amount of cars that we had taking part last year. In total, between the street collection on the Friday and Saturday and the run itself, we managed to raise €10,000, so we're delighted with that. The money will be divided equally between both charities and we'll have a presentation night in the River's Edge soon.'

Although they may not have been as gleaming when they returned, the cars were shining as they set off and there were prizes on offer on the day too. John Byrne from Ferns won Best Vintage Car, Best Japanese Car went to Willy Power from Kilrush and the overall Show and Shine went to Joe JR Nolan from Enniscorthy.

With the event proving such a success, thoughts have already turned to next year and the organisers will perhaps be hoping for a little bit of sunshine in which participants can show off their gleaming cars.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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