Community support sought for local charity cycle and walk fundraiser

July 6, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

A group of seasoned fundraisers from Cullyhanna has announced plans of its latest fundraising initiative aimed at helping children and young adults undergoing emergency trauma treatment.

The committee of the Ciaran Caraher Remembrance Fund group has been organising charity fundraising events annually for the past twelve years and this year has decided to hold a sponsored cycle and walk.

The event will take place on Saturday 24th July and will involve a 10 mile cycle and – for the less proficient cyclists – a six mile walk, which will be followed by a night of live music and entertainment.

Leaving Cullyhanna around 6pm, the cycle will follow the route to Crossmaglen via the Carron Road and return to the village by Fords Cross and Drumill Bridge.

At the same time, the walk will leave from Cullyhanna village, proceeding along the Freeduff Road and McShane’s Road, also returning via Drumill Bridge.

Organisers are keen to welcome more participants in the event, to which more than fifty volunteers have already signed up.


This cycle and walk initiative is the latest in a long line of successful fundraising events accomplished by this committee.

The group was set up in 1998 by Francis and Sheila Caraher from Cullyhanna, following the loss of their son Ciaran to meningitis.  Ciaran was just 22 months old when he succumbed to the condition in April of that year.

In memory of their son, and keen to raise awareness of the condition, the Caraher family set about raising money for Meningitis Research.  Over the last twelve years they have held many fundraising events including head and beard shaves, pool competitions and live music events.

In later years the family has also donated proceeds of events to the Accident and Emergency department of Daisy Hill hospital where Ciaran received treatment.  Through these donations, a number of monitors for use in the department were purchased, one of which has since been named after little Ciaran.

All in all, more than £100,000 has been raised through the efforts of the committee and supporters.

Specialist equipment

This year it has been decided to donate all proceeds from this event to the A&E department of Daisy Hill.  Following discussions with medical staff based in the department, it was decided the money raised will go towards the purchase of specialist ultrasound equipment aimed at treating children and young adults suffering severe trauma.  The machine is used to detect veins in the patient’s neck to help with placement of central lines and has an estimated cost in the region of £30,000.

The committee hopes proceeds from the upcoming event will go some way towards purchasing this life-saving machine and has appealed for the wider south Armagh community to become involved and help raise vital funds for this much-needed facility.

Meanwhile, Francis and Sheila take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to previous events and particularly thank the Caraher and McNulty families for their assistance and support over the years.

The sponsored cycle and walk event will take place on Saturday 24th July, assembling at the Band Hall in Cullyhanna at 6.30pm.  It will be followed by a free barbecue and ntertainment with music by Stage 2 and popular local comedy act Joan Garvey. There is no cover charge to the event however staff from Daisy Hill hospital will gratefully accept any voluntary donations.  A&E consultant Dr. McCann is also expected to attend to receive the donation and explain how it will go towards helping save the lives of patients.

Sponsor cards are currently in circulation around the area and for anyone who wishes to become involved, cards or more information can be had by contacting Francis Caraher on 02830860081 or 086 8833841.