An incredible €43,560 was raised for Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts of Templeport/Bawnboy, spearheaded by Thomas Doonan. Front L-R: Barney Cully, Representing IMNDA; Aisling Doonan, Thomas Doonan, Conan Doonan, Sarah Doonan, Carol Doonan, Clodagh Doonan. Missing from photo are Fionán Doonan and Eoin Doonan.

Over €43,000 raised for motor neurone charity

Sean McMahon

The generosity of people in west Cavan was noted at the presentation of a cheque to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association recently.

Events, including a walk on Slieve Rushen, a 5km walk in Bawnboy, matches in Templeport and Bawnboy, cake sales, golf competitions and others, were held to raise money for the charity, all thanks to driving force Thomas Doonan.

Diagnosed with the condition in October 2020, he was left surprised and emotional with the support from near and far for the various fundraisers.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone”, he said at the presentation, noting for those in attendance that while donations are important, “your friendship is more important. I want to acknowledge the support of the men and women in the football club here, my family and of course, my wife Carol.

“I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone on the 29th October, 2020 and since that time I have not deteriorated that much. I am losing a bit of power in my arm and I can no longer catch a ball over my head,” he said.

Among those in attendance at the St Aidan’s clubhouse was Harry McCabe from Cootehill who kicked three points in every football ground in Co Cavan in recent months as part of his own fundraiser. Harry donated a third of his proceeds to IMNDA as it was one of three serious diseases medics believed he may have before tests confirmed he had Parkinson’s Disease.

Arva man Barney Cully, who lost his own father to Motor Neurone disease in 1993, was there to represent the IMNDA.

Noting more than 420 people in Ireland have the condition, he highlighted the importance of fundraisers to allow the work of the IMNDA to continue. “The Association relies on the generosity of the public for 85% of their funding. When they see this cheque presented tonight, they will be amazed by the amount raised in a small community. It is a credit to everybody involved,” he said.

Over €43,000 in total was raised, with a lengthy list of events and organisations to thank for the hefty total. Among them was Cavan ESB social club which raised €1,100. Smuggler’s Cycling contributed over €4,000, inmates and staff at Loughan House prison - where Thomas used to work - also donated €1,000.

Donations of over €22,000 were also made online.

“Thanks to Supervalu for poster sponsors and Ballyconnell and local businesses who contributed spot prizes and vouchers to the many events,” said Thomas Doonan. “I will be forever grateful to the event organisers, participants, friends and family for making this fundraiser such a success and IMNDA can use the money to provide services and assistance to all patients with MND.”

He also thanked Barney Cully, describing him as a “great support” and special guest Harry McCabe.

“This fundraiser is now closed but IMNDA will gladly accept any donations to their head office.”