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Legendary GAA families support Trócaire’s Christmas Gifts campaign

Two of Ireland’s best-known GAA families gathered to launch Trócaire’s Christmas ‘Gifts of Love’ range as Joe and Aaron Kernan joined Martin and Mark McHugh in urging people to support the campaign.

Launching their 2018 Christmas Gifts range, Trócaire revealed that generous people across the island of Ireland spent over €765,000 on the charity’s gift range last year, allowing the development agency to bring support to more than 27,000 families living in some of the world’s poorest countries.

This support provided families in the developing world with clean water, essential tools, livestock and help with education, the charity said.

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Calling on people to support this year’s Chirtsmas Gifts campaign, Armagh’s 2002 All-Ireland winning manager Joe Kernan was joined by his son, former Young Footballer of the Year Aaron, and his grandson James (4) at their native Crossmaglen GAA club.

GAA Hall of Famer, Joe said: “My family and I are absolutely delighted to support Trócaire’s great work and their Christmas Gifts. This year’s gifts include a ‘Help for Grandparents’ sponsorship, which allows people to support grandparents raising children who have lost their parents to illness, accident or war. I feel this is a great way to try to help families who are living in really testing circumstances.”

Donegal inter-county star and 2012 All-Ireland winner Mark McHugh took to Kilcar GAA club’s home pitch to launch Trócaire’s Gifts, alongside his son, Noah (1), All-Star brother Ryan and his father, Martin, a 1992 Celtic Cross medallist.

“I’m delighted to help Trócaire launch their Christmas Gifts as the money raised goes towards a great cause,” said Mark. “When my family get together here at our club, there’s a real sense of community and support – these gifts allow people to support families who are less fortunate by providing basic but vital gifts like farm animals, tools and school supplies.”

Since it was first launched in 2000, Trócaire’s Christmas Gifts campaign has sold more than 920,000 gifts and raised almost €38m for the development agency’s work supporting families affected by long-term poverty overseas.

Trócaire CEO Caoimhe de Barra said: “We would like to thank all of our generous supporters who have bought Trócaire Gifts over the years. The gifts, ranging from soap and chicks through to shelter and water wells, have a huge impact right across the world. This vital support helps families living in some of the poorest areas and most testing conditions, including regions in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Honduras and Guatemala.

“We are delighted that the McHugh and Kernan families have helped us to launch Trócaire’s Christmas Gifts for 2018 and we hope the Irish public and our supporters continue to provide such tremendous support for our work in over 20 developing countries.”

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There are 14 Trócaire gifts to choose from, ranging in price from €5 to €1000 such as chicks, beehives and solar lamps. This year, there are also a number of new additions including ‘Help for Grandparents’, which will support those who are raising their grandchildren in the developing world, and ‘School Kits’ to send a child to school.

You can buy Trócaire gifts online at www.trocaire.org/gifts, by calling 1850 408 408, from Veristas stores country wide or a Trócaire One4all gift card can be bought at all Post Offices. You can also purchase in Trócaire centres at Cathedral Street, Dublin 1; 9 Cook Street, Cork City or Maynooth, Kildare.

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