John delivers another successful fundraiser

KENMARE postman John O'Sullivan ensured another first class delivery over the weekend as he led the runners out on the 2014 Jack and Jill Go Up the Hill event.

The ten kilometre run/walk took place on Saturday afternoon and, as is traditional, was led out by event organiser John, whose son Sean was supported by the Jack and Jill Foundation in 2007 after a series brain bleed.

He was joined on the day by 500 other athletes who managed to keep an upbeat atmosphere despite the somewhat inclement weather and the tough nature of the challenge that lay before them. "We had just slightly over 500 registered entries which was alright considering the weather wasn't great. This is the first time in seven years we've had rain though so I suppose we haven't done too badly," John told The Kerryman.

"Everyone seemed happy enough regardless," he added.

The annual 'Up the Hill' event in Kenmare has grown to be one of the most successful Jack and Jill fundraisers of the year and has captured the imagination of runners from across Munster.

Such is the success of the event that it is about to become a national phenomenon with the launch of the 'Up the Hill for Jack and Jill' nationwide campaign - much to the delight of John and his family.

"The O'Sullivan family event is a great formula of fundraising with the emphasis on fun, friends and family and I'm very proud to say that this annual event has become our blueprint for 'Up the Hill for Jack & Jill' our nationwide campaign," Jack and Jill Foundation founder Jonathan Irwin said.

"This, we hope, will become Jack and Jill's own version of Daffodil Day and we are forever indebted to John and his team for their energy and loyalty towards Jack and Jill.

"The best thing about this particular story is young Sean himself and the fact that he is doing so well," he added.

In fact Sean, now nine years old, was among those cheering his dad John across the finish line on Sunday afternoon in Kenmare.