Bishopstown GAA Club on run in aid of Cystic Fibrosis charity

Bishopstown GAA Club on run in aid of Cystic Fibrosis charity

Bishopstown GAA club member, Kevin O’Driscoll, with his dog Millie. Kevin was the inspiration behind their fund-raiser for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.

BISHOPSTOWN Hurling and Football Club was founded in 1957 to cater for a young growing population in the western suburbs of Cork City.

The club currently field teams in both the senior football and senior hurling championships and also field teams at junior level in both football and hurling. The underage section of the club is particularly vibrant and caters for players from four years of age in Cúl Maroon up to minor level.

A spokesperson for the club said: “Our club grounds are located in the heart of the community and with close to 1,000 members there is always activity on our pitches and club facilities.

“Over the years Bishopstown GAA have produced some fine hurlers and footballers who have served their club and county with honour and pride including such notable players as Johnny Crowley, Barry Coffey, Paul McGrath, Shane O’Neill, Pa Cronin, Liam Honohan, Brian Cuthbert, Ken O’Halloran and Jamie O’Sullivan, to name a few and this year Nathan Gough was part of the Cork minor All-Ireland winning team.

“We also have a growing LGFA and Camogie club, with numbers increasing year on year and a strong underage section to secure the future. In the absence of organised training due to the Covid-19 pandemic one of our senior footballers, Noel O’Donovan, came up with the idea of harnessing the individual training efforts of the players to complete a virtual run for charity.

“Due to the respiratory nature of the Covid-19 virus and the awareness in the club of Kevin Driscoll’s battle with CF since he was a very young child, the organising committee picked CF as their chosen charity for the fun run.

“We are also very conscious of the impact of Covid-19 throughout the community and the worry and stress for any family that has a member isolating with Cystic Fibrosis, or may be vulnerable due to conditions such as Asthma, COPD, Pulmonary Fibrosis, etc.

“Kevin’s family has a long and tragic past with CF as both his sister Mary and brother Padraig died from CF as infants. Despite this, Kevin was always active and outgoing, living life to the full and involving himself as a player with various teams in the club until he reached 14.

“At this time his condition deteriorated, and he had to give up playing sport and reduce his involvement in the normal activities associated with a 14-year-old. Through the administration of medication (Caproxin) Kevin was able to manage his condition and remained in full time education despite reduced lung function and the challenges associated with the condition.

“On leaving school Kevin joined the work force. He currently works in sales with Phil O Sullivan Electric, Sullivan’s Quay, and is always good for a deal, a fact his loyal customers will attest to.

“Despite not been able to play sport, Kevin immersed himself in Bishopstown GAA as an administrator, coach, selector and team manager. Very few players have passed through Bishopstown without coming under the influence of Kevin who is noted for his good humour and willingness to help and take on responsibility.

“He has the ability to connect with young and old alike. In October 2006 Kevin suffered a serious setback while driving home from a training session in the club. He suffered a bleed in his lungs which resulted in a near death experience. He spent eight days on life support in CUH and thanks to the great work of the medical staff he recovered.

“However, he urgently required a lung transplant to ensure any prospect of having a normal life expectancy and an acceptable quality of life. He received excellent support from CF Ireland and was on the waiting list for two years for a lung transplant. During this period his lung function was extremely low and dangerous.

“On April 22, 2008, Kevin received the call from CF to travel to Newcastle, UK where he was tested and found suitable for a transplant. The operation was a great success and Kevin made an excellent recovery. Kevin is married to Maria who has been a great support and partner to Kevin.

“His father Paddy was a star player with Cork football teams in the 1950/60s and was chairman of Cork County Board for a period. His mother lives beside him on Model Farm Road and his two brothers Brendan and Peter are also deeply immersed in GAA.

“In organising this fundraiser for CF, Bishopstown GAA were very conscious of the Covid-19 virus and the impact it had on the vulnerable in our community.

“We were also conscious of its potential impact on the quality of life of Cystic Fibrosis patients and their ability to move about in public and do the everyday things we take for granted.

“Covid-19 also took a great Bishopstown clubman before his time. Jim Hynes was a native of Hollymount, Mayo and was a great servant over the last 40 years in all facets of the club including, mentoring, training, selecting and generally helping out around the club grounds and club activities where possible. Jim was taken suddenly and before his time on March 31.

“His family are deeply involved in club activities and his daughter Caitriona has been central to organising this fundraiser. Finally, the organising committee were also aware that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, CF were unable to plan their annual fundraising event, 65 Roses Day, and as a result we are anxious to help address the impact on the CF funding.” So the club have organised a fundraiser where they are running from Malin to Mizen head, which started during the week. Every one who takes part logs the length of their run and it is added to the overall tally with the aim of surpassing the distance of jsut over 600km between the two points.

So if you saw or see people running around Bishopstown in purple t-shirts then you now know what they are doing.

You can donate to the fund-raiser through any of their Instagram, Twitter or Facebook or at:

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