BY SEÁN P. FEENY
MEMBERS of St Eunan’s GAA in Letterkenny are showing their support for a Scottish toddler with a rare heart condition with a fund-raising day this August bank holiday Monday. A fun day of all things GAA and entertainment is being held at O’Donnell Park as part of a series of fund-raising initiatives in aid of the cardiac unit at Yorkhill Children’s Hospital in Glasgow.
Caitlin Hartley was born in Edinburgh in September 2011 and was soon diagnosed with a rare heart condition called Truncus Arteriosus.One of the organisers of the event, Jonathan Foley from Letterkenny, first heard about Caitlin’s story when he joined Dunedin Connolly’s GFC in Edinburgh and met Caitlin’s aunt Trea Duffy.
Jonathan said: “Trea became a friend of mine last year while I was working as a secondary school teacher in Edinburgh and was also working with my adopted club, Dunedin Connolly’s GFC, of which Trea’s two cousins were previously members of.”
Trea ended up helping Jonathan by proof-reading a history of the Edinburgh-based club that he has been compiling; He even encouraging her to become a member of St Eunan’s GAA at the same time. During that time Jonathan got to find out a lot about her niece’s story.
Trea started helping her niece and the hospital’s cause by doing various charity events and in May also set up the Facebook page Caitlin’s Chroi which has garnered a lot of interest in Donegal given the county’s close links to Scotland.
Jonathan said: “Here we keep people informed of Caitlin’s progress, links to videos of how she’s doing and also to inform people of fund-raising events.
“St Eunan’s GAA have been a massive support. Laura Campbell of Woodlands, recently baked a great looking Malteser cake which was raffled off at the recent Senior and Reserve Championship games against Naomh Conaill and raised €103. McGinley’s Bar in Letterkenny ran a special Father Ted quiz night which raised almost €300.”
The main event will be taking place this Monday, when St Eunan’s will host a fun male and female mash-up game at O’Donnell Park. “This is open to all current, past and even non-members of the club to come along and support a great.
“There will be music and a raffle as part of the occasion. We hope to get folks down at 2.30pm with a throw-in pencilled in for 3pm.
“A special thanks must go to Elaina Gallagher who has been such a driving force behind this event, as well as so many others at the club.
“The best thing of all is that Caitlin, Marie and Trea will all be there with some other relatives) as special guests for the occasion,” Jonathan said.
If you would like to participate in the game (all abilities and ages welcome) you can contact Jonathan via e-mail on johnnyfoley1984 @gmail.com and call down to for a great day or sport and lots of entertainment in aid of a very good cause.
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