Clontarf and Raheny's joint fundraiser for St Francis Hospice has raised nearly double it's target.
What started out as a jest on Twitter between two Dublin Northside GAA clubs snowballed into an amazing display of community solidarity last Saturday in aid of St. Francis Hospice.
Cluain Tarbh and Raheny mobilised their members and the wider community in the hundreds and Dublin 3 and 5 was a sea of Red and Maroon geansaí's reminiscent of a Cork-Galway final down the road in Croker.
Plotting a virtual target route around the GAA clubs of the coastline of Ireland and virtually visiting them with Twitter mentions, the number of people who walked, ran, cycled or evan swam completely exceeded expectations and the original target. With people still logging their distances this morning both clubs went a staggering 77,500Km which is Malin2Mizen approximately 122 times or 26 times around the original target.
Leading upto the event the GAA family across Ireland came out in force with good luck videos from media including Marty Morrissey, Des Cahill and GAA broadcasting legend Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh. Current and former players including Peter Canavan and Mattie Donnelly from Tyrone, Ryan McHugh from Kilcar and Donegal and three former Áth Cliath captains, Coman Goggins, Collie Moran and Ciarán Whelan, who took part in the event for his former club Raheny, all wished the endeavour well. There was crossover into other sports with former Ireland cúl báire Packie Bonner wishing the event well on the day that TG4 showed another WorldCupGold game from Italia 90. Clontarf native Brian O'Driscoll and fellow Ireland and Lions player Jamie Heaslip also sent on message along with former Clare dual player and now Ireland rugby international Eimear Considine.
The event almost broke the Internet with good luck messages and retweets coming in from clubs around the coastline including McQuillans in Antrim and Na Magha in Derry. Infact the interest was so high that #GoTheDistance was the 4th trending term on Twitter in Ireland around lunchtime on Saturday. As the event carried on the volume of donations was so high the donation sight was temporarily down.
The diaspora was out in force with the first activity seen in Sydney, there was a very warm cycle in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, runs in Brussels, New York and Cardiff, a hill climb in Yorkshire and a 5K in the backgarden of a house in London.
The real winners of the event apart from the tremendous community spirit that was apparent are St. Francis Hospice. With COVID-19 impacting many charities they have a €1.8m shortfall in fundraising opportunities. The generosity of people has completely exceeded expectations and over €94,000 has been raised.
Donations to the fundraiser can be still be made online https://www.idonate.ie/GoTheDistanceForSFH
Wow, amazing that we have raised another €20,000 since the event ended! Well done to all in @RahenyGAA & Cluain Tarbh for their tremendous support of @SFHDublin. Donations still open https://t.co/Nm3K3Ixx78 https://t.co/tlHEwZNimi— Clontarf GAA Club/CLG Chluain Tarbh (@ClontarfGAAClub) May 24, 2020