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Mullaghbawn woman touches down after charity skydive

A milestone birthday presented one Mullaghbawn woman with the perfect excuse to take on a daring challenge in aid of a cause which is very close to her heart.

Marie Murchan threw herself out of an aeroplane last Saturday in a charitable endeavour to raise funds for the British Chest Heart and Stroke Association. According to Marie, turning 50 recently prompted her to think about a bucket list of adventurous activities and experiences she wanted to try, and top of the list was a tandem skydive.

As word spread of her crazy venture, she was approached by Forkhill man, Ciaran Murphy, who offered to do the sky dive with her and suggested doing it for charity.  Explaining why she chose the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association, Marie told The Examiner,

“My father was struck down with a stroke when he was 40 years of age. He lived with the effects of it until he was 72 but my younger brother John, who received a heart transplant as a result of having restructive cardiomyopathy, died at the age of 40, so I knew if I was going to do this for charity it would be for the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association.”

After contacting the charity, Marie and Ciaran pressed ahead with fundraising, placing donation buckets in pubs and shops throughout the area.  The response they received was “phenomenal”, said Marie.

With her terror of flying well known, Marie says her family and friends could not believe she was taking on such a challenge.  Determined to strike it off her bucket list and to raise some much needed funds for a very worthy charity, Marie and Ciaran headed to Kilkenny Air Base on Saturday last.   With the weather against them the brave pair endured a nerve wracking wait until they were finally cleared to jump at 6pm that evening.

Speaking to The Examiner having completed her terrifying stunt, the Mullaghbawn woman said it had taken her a few days to come down from her “adrenaline buzz.”  She described the whole experience as “fantastic” and added,

“It really was amazing. The thought did cross my mind as I literally fell out of the plane –  “What am I doing?”- but I have to say it was an unbelievable experience.

“I screamed for my mother, my kids and my husband on the way down!” she laughed,

“Ciaran was the same – he said everything was going through his mind, his kids and his family.  He landed first and then I came in and landed behind him so it was great to do it together.

“We went up in the same plane and I was surprisingly ok despite my fear of flying but once I started to laugh at my not very graceful entry backwards into the plane, the laughter continued the whole way up!

“Once we landed and got out of our gear all I wanted was my celebratory bottle of champagne and after getting our certificates we did just that and topped the experience off with a night with family and friends in Tullaghmore.

“That’s one mad experience off the bucket list and one which is never to be done again!” said Marie.

With the funds raised sitting at £1,700 and counting, both Ciaran and Marie would like to thank both their families for all their support and they extend a special thanks to Seamus and Marie McNamee of Phillips Stores and Off licence in Jonesborough who they say drummed up a lot of support and generously displayed the donation buckets throughout their shop and off-licence.

They are extremely grateful to Mourne Freight of Killeavy and Cluskey’s Bar and Restaurant for their very generous donations and to Murphy’s shop in Forkhill and the Forge Bar for all their support and to everyone else who donated or helped in any way.

A special cheque presentation night will be held in the Forge Bar in Forkhill on 22nd October.  There will be music and prizes on the night and all are welcome.