Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Bereaved family present proceeds of late son’s 21st birthday tribute

Organisers of a series of fundraising events held last month to commemorate the 21st birthday of Ciaran Caraher have offered their appreciation to everyone who helped make the occasion a success.

Ciaran, from Cullyhanna was just 22 months old when he died from meningitis in April 1998.  Since then, his family circle and friends have undertaken countless fundraising projects in his memory to raise money for the Children’s Ward at Daisy Hill Hospital, where little Ciaran was treated.

In July a family fun weekend was held in Cullyhanna, which featured a Tractor and Toyota Run, a kids’ Tractor Run and a Country and Jive night, and on Friday last, the organizing committee handed over the weekend’s proceeds of £5,045 to Daisy Hill’s Hospital Children’s Ward Manager Sr Bronagh Corr.

Accepting the donation, Sr Corr said: “On behalf of all of our staff and patients I would like to thank the Carahers and everyone who contributed to their amazing fundraising efforts for such generosity. This very welcome donation will be used to buy equipment for our new Paediatric Unit which will be opening early next year.”

The Caraher family takes this opportunity to thank everyone who took part and supported the events and their generous sponsors: Peter Keenan, Aidy and Colleen Swift, Fane Valley Stores, Mary Deery, Caitlin’s Cottage, Raymond Watters, Cosy Cafe Castleblayney, Superbites, Face Painters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Peppa Pig and Minnion, S & C Party Entertainment, Tommy Trickster, Sally Lennon, Anthony Donnelly, Aine Woods, Shionnainn McArdle, St Patrick’s GFC, Jean Rushe, Fr Cullen, Cross Examiner for promoting the event, all tractor and car drivers.  Best of luck also to Red Owen Conlon for getting his tractor back on the road – good luck Tom Joe – and to all the children involved in the kids’ tractor run.

Proceeds from the charity weekend have boosted the overall total that has been raised by the Caraher family in Ciaran’s name to more than £112,000, a tremendous sum that has helped further meningitis research and provide comfort to many patients of Daisy Hill’s Children’s Ward since his tragic passing.

Ciaran’s parents, Francis and Sheila, say none of this would have been possible without the support they have received.

“We are overwhelmed by the support of the local community, celebrating what would have been Ciaran’s 21st birthday and raising £5,045stg,” they said.

“Since Ciaran’s sudden death to meningitis in 1998, our committee have raised over £112,000 stg, a staggering amount to say the least, going towards meningitis research, Belfast and Dublin, Daisy Hill Hospital and local charitable causes.

“This would not be possible only for our family and friends sticking together and helping out at our time of need.  This money has gone to help many sick children and helped create a new vaccine in the fight against meningitis.”

Urging parents to be vigilant for the signs of meningitis, they added: Please be aware of the symptoms of the deadly disease because it acts so quickly and, as we know, 24 hours is all it takes.”