DUHALLOW clubs Boherbue and Newmarket hit the road in support of Pieta House and it drew a massive response from players.
More than 250 people were involved in the Boherbue walk/run that raised a generous contribution for the worthy cause.
Club chairperson Eileen Casey O’Connor followed up on a request from a club member to support Pieta House last year.
“When the Darkness into Light was cancelled due to Covid 19, we decided to undertake a fundraiser that's so important for Pieta House on supporting services to offset suicide and depression.
"And we decided to repeat the staging this year though the intended staging on the May Bank Holiday Monday was cancelled owing to the untimely death of a former player and member Con O’Donovan,” she said.
“Thankfully, the weather was ideal and it was great to see so many families getting involved in the walk,” said Eileen.
Upwards of 100 Newmarket GAA members and friends hit the terrain in support of their 5k series that again generated all important funding for Pieta House.
The club hosted six walks/runs within a 24 hour spell and the novel concept aroused considerable interest much to the delight of club PRO and co-ordinator Luke McCarthy.
“The first Darkness into Light run/walk was held in 2009 and since then it has become a major annual event through organised routes set up throughout the country as participants walk or jog 5km at the crack of dawn,” he said.
“However, we gave members and the community a number of options, operating from 8pm, we hosted a run every four hours and it met an overwhelming response.
"It’s become highly supportive in Ireland and in Newmarket, participants gathered in their own bubbles, socially distancing,” said Luke.
Indeed some players went to extraordinary levels, chalking up the miles, Eddie Allen and Darren O’Keeffe completed a marathon and club President Con Collins supported the cause as a participant with the public donating to the cause.
And through social media contacts, some big names obliged to support the Newmarket event.
Former Limerick hurler Seamus Hickey and Armagh great Oisín McConville forwarded on video messages in addition to the backing of Camogie CEO Sinéad McNulty, Cork talisman Donncha O’Connor.
All-Ireland Final referee Conor Lane and Waterford hurler Maurice Shanahan were only too willing to unite behind a worthy Newmarket initiative.
Though pandemic restrictions attempted to be a spoilsport, Pieta House wasn’t forgotten where not for the first time, GAA clubs such as Newmarket delivered inspiration.
That was sure to create a buzz when collective training resumed this week as clubs look to championships later in the summer, Newmarket face up to familiar opponents in the opening series to the 2021 Cork County Premier IFC with meetings with Na Piarsaigh, Aghada and Castletownbere.