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Gusserane GAA members run 1,300kms for Pieta

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Cormac, Evan, Donal and Aoidín Kiely from Kilbraney

Cormac, Evan, Donal and Aoidín Kiely from Kilbraney

Shay Keevans with his son Conor-Seamus setting the pace in Waterford

Shay Keevans with his son Conor-Seamus setting the pace in Waterford

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Cormac, Evan, Donal and Aoidín Kiely from Kilbraney

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Gusserane O'Rahillys GAA club members living near and as far away as Australia got into gear over the June bank holiday weekend to hold a major fundraiser for the club, running 1,300kms.

With the current Covid-19 restrictions, the possibility of holding a major event involving a large gathering of club members and supporters was a non-runner. However, club chairperson Shane Cullen felt that this offered an ideal opportunity for the club to funnel its efforts in to an event that would raise funds for a very worthy cause.

Shane said: 'The #Run4Pieta fundraiser was perfect as it enabled the entire parish to participate and contribute while maintaining social distancing. The aim was to have someone running/walking at all times during a 24-hour period from 7.30 p.m. on Friday to 7.30 p.m. the following day. Donations were collected online and proceeds will go towards the Pieta House charity.'

Pieta provides free therapy to those engaging in self harm, or to anyone bereaved by suicide who seeks their help. The charity relies on the generosity of the public as donations make up over 80 per cent of its income.

The club set a target of €1,000, but it was clear from an early stage that this was going to be surpassed. Members and former members scattered all over the globe came together for the 24 hours and photos were put up on the club's social media accounts of some of those who took part. Participants from all around the Tintern parish and other areas of County Wexford were joined by more from Waterford, Carlow and Dublin as well as from Dubai, Boston, London and various parts of Australia.

By 7.30 p.m. on a scorching June bank holiday Saturday evening, 203 people had taken part. In glorious weather conditions, the club had covered a total of 1,300 kilometres - which is the equivalent of going from Gusserane to Buncrana and back twice in 24 hours!

At the time of going to press, the club had raised a whopping €5,740 but donations are still being accepted online through the link on the club's social media pages.

'In these strange and difficult times, this event brought a community together while raising a large sum of money for what is a most worthy cause. Well done to all involved.'


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