KBRT chosen as GAA official charity

April 11, 2016

A renowned Newry based charity which has carried out endless work in helping families in Ireland repatriate the remains of their loved ones who have died abroad has been chosen as one of the GAA’s Official Charities for 2016.  The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust (KBRT) is one of five charities announced as charity partners by the GAA  during a special photo call at Croke Park on Friday.

The KBRT was set up by Colin and Eithne Bell in June 2013, following the death of their son Kevin in a hit and run accident in New York.  Kevin had been a dancing champion and a popular member of his local Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club and in the aftermath of his death, friends and supporters in Newry and abroad rallied round to raise funds to repatriate his body.  Within days the fund grew to £150,000 and when Kevin’s American employers agreed to cover the cost of transporting his body home, the Bells decided to use the money raised to help other families who were visited with the same tragedy.   In under three years, the KBRT has helped bring home 169 people who have died overseas.

It now joins fellow charities, Pieta House, Cliona’s Foundation, The Cormac Trust & Shabra Charity Foundation, as one of The GAA’s 2016 Official Charities from around the country which represent a range of different causes. Each designated charity will receive a £20,000 donation from the GAA.

The GAA chosen charities is part of an on-going GAA initiative stretching back to 2010 that has seen the GAA select a number of specific charitable organisations and foundations each year in a bid to assist them in raising awareness about their work and also champion them in their fundraising efforts throughout the coming year.

Aogán Ó Fearghail, Uachtarán CLG, said: “We are immensely proud of the position that the GAA holds within Irish society and of the work that we do at enriching the lives of our members and the communities in which they live”.

“We take our role and responsibility in the community seriously and a part of that responsibility is in areas such as this where the GAA can be a positive influence”.

“As people, the generosity of the Irish in helping others in times of need is well known. In the GAA we are an Association with a big membership and a big heart”.

“The charities selected for 2016, like those that have gone before them, are all in their own unique way doing work that is as phenomenal as it is inspirational in its effort to make an extraordinary difference to the lives of ordinary people”.

“We hope that through their link to the GAA as one of our official charities in 2016 that their work gains more deserving recognition and that their fundraising efforts are also enhanced.”