Dolphins accompany rowers for charity event

On Sunday last, August 6, three crews from Cumann na gCurach Gaoth Dobhair set off on an ambitious charity row in aid of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.

The club undertakes a row for charity on an annual basis with this year’s being the longest route taken since the club’s formation in 2007.

The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust aims to alleviate the financial hardship of bereaved families repatriating the bodies of loved ones who have died abroad in sudden or tragic circumstances to Ireland.


Nine members rowed through challenging conditions with sizeable swells and an unforgiving ebb from Arranmore to Magheragallon pier in Gaoth Dobhair, a distance of over 17 kilometres.

Donations were made in the weeks preceding the event online as well as on the day.

Club chairperson William Boyle praised the support received by the club.

“This is always a well-supported event for our club and this year was no exception,” he said.

“It was a real community effort as always. Our club members really did themselves proud in what was a tough row for all concerned.

“We had excellent support from our neighbouring club, Cumann Rámhaíochata Chloich Cheann Fhaola, who generously provided an extra currach for our rowers to use on the day.

The support on the pier from locals and visitors alike cheering us on as we arrived was fantastic and all of the rowers commented how much the support meant to them.


“We are so grateful to Ethna Campbell, PJ Curran and many others who made sure all rowers had some much needed refreshments afterwards.

“A special word of thanks has to be extended to Declan Kelly, Donál Rua Gallagher, Michael O’Donnell and Eamonn Sweeney for providing safety boats to guide and ensure the safety of our rowers.

This event simply cannot run without their support and every year, without fail, they volunteer their services. I can’t really put into words how thankful we are to them.”

“It was also a lovely touch to see the dolphins on the last leg of the journey just as the fatigue was about to set in, it definitely helped to keep the spirits high.

‘I’m really pleased that we were able to raise such a significant amount for a very worthwhile charity, the KBRT does amazing work in supporting families during very difficult times”.

Currently, the projected total stands at €3,500.

The Facebook link will remain live for another week before the final sum is declared to provide some additional time for those who may not have had the opportunity to donate.

Cumann na gCurach is a small club operating in Gaoth Dobhair promoting and developing the traditional skill of currach rowing.

Enquiries are always welcome and contact can be made with the club via its social media accounts.

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