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Joe's crutches give a leg-up to charity

RTE star Joe Duffy has bid a final farewell to the crutches he used after an accident three years ago -- by donating them to charity.

The Liveline host spent months on the crutches after his leg was badly crushed when a woman driver reversed into him on Pearse Street, in Dublin, on April 2009.

Last summer, Joe told the Herald he bears no ill-will towards the driver, and the personal injuries case against her was settled out of court.

Now, Joe has donated the crutches to the Jack and Jill Foundation to help raise money to support severely disabled children with critical home nursing care.

He has highlighted the fact on Liveline that once patients have finished using crutches, they cannot recycle them through the hospital system.

Jonathan Irwin, CEO of Jack and Jill, has estimated that there are around one million crutches lying around in Irish homes as they're "single-use only" and can't be returned via the HSE.


The charity is asking people to deposit their crutches at any of Applegreen's service stations and their affiliated service stations around the country over the next three months.

He has also praised Independent News and Media's largest shareholder Denis O'Brien for pledging his crutches.

"Denis O'Brien has been a great supporter of Jonathan Irwin and Jack and Jill over the years and he's promised us his crutches, out of the one million we know are lying around idle in Irish homes."

Mr Irwin said: "With less than 20pc of our funding coming from the State, we rely more than ever on the public to donate cash, mobile phones and now crutches to keep Jack and Jill going and I want to urge people to dig out those old crutches and visit their local Applegreen station as soon as they can."

Almost 300 severely disabled children receiving home nursing care from the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation will benefit directly from the donations.

The crutches will be sold as scrap and the aluminium is melted down into its raw form and reused. The campaign runs throughout June, July and August and people can get more details via www.jackandjill.ie