Sunday 18 March 2018

€1,700 raised at 5k walk and run for Gaza

John Manning

A CHARITY 5k walk and run to raise funds for the wounded people of Palestine proved a huge success in Balbriggan when over 300 people turned out to support the event and raised over €1,700 in cash for the cause.

One of the event organisers was Ann Mehigan, and she told the Fingal Independent: 'We were thrilled with the turnout. Over 300 people turned up to run/walk the 5k and to donate their hard-earned cash to help the wounded people of Palestine.

'It resulted in us raising over €1,700 - people are still donating as we speak so the figure could be higher by the end of the week.

'Many thanks to all the wonderful people of Balbriggan and a special thanks to the White Hart Inn who kindly provided a free barbecue after the run for all the hungry participants.'

Explaining how the event came about, Ann said: 'Sean Keenan who has raised funds before for worthy causes, contacted a few of us; Ray Finlay, George Blaine, Mick McFadden and myself regarding organising an event in order to raise funds for the wounded of Palestine.

'We were very conscious to keep it non-political and non-religious and stated this when promoting the event.

'We met up to hold it on Thursday July 31, which only gave us a week but we wanted to strike while the iron is hot so to speak, while people were still talking about it and interested in helping Gaza.'

Ann explained: 'So, it was all hands on deck, social media played a huge part, we used Facebook to mail clubs/pubs and organisations around Balbriggan to ask for their help in spreading the word.

'We set up an event page and also a group 'Balbriggan Aid for Palestine' and invited everyone we knew. We created posters and walked around Balbriggan to display in windows of businesses and the response we received was fantastic.

'We contacted Irish Medical Aid for Palestine (IMAP) who feel the Irish people have been incredibly loyal and generous to the Palestinian people in their plight. The discrimination, deprivation and daily denial of their basic human rights remind the Irish of the darkest days of their own oppression.

'All funds raised will go directly to IMAP who will use the money to supply essential aid to the people of Palestine.'

The event has inspired others and the organising committee have had meetings in Skerries and Rush with a view to possibly holding fundraisers in those towns.

Tess Martin from Rush participated in the Balbriggan event and has decided to hold a similar event in her town.

The Rush fun run and walk for the same cause will take place on Tuesday, August 12.

The runners and walkers will gather at 7.30pm at the entrance to Kenure Park opposite Tesco and will set off on their route at 8pm, walking or running to Rush Harbour and back.

The money from this event will go to a non-political charity called Irish Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Skerries is also getting in on the act with a charity walk and run for the same charity with participants called to meet at Skerries Harbour Memorial Pole at 7.15pm for a 7.45pm start on Wednesday, August 13.

Fingal Independent