Over €30,000 presented to Donegal Hospice by photographer Brian McDaid

It was a journey to remember.

1,900 kilometres, four tanks of petrol, a puncture, three boxes of Galtee cheese, six fills of a flask of hot water and a lot of tea bags! Gary Mangan’s CD stuck in the CD player in the otherwise ultra reliable wee Toyota called Betsy and an overwhelming amount of support were just some of the ingredients that helped ensure that the Drive of Ireland fundraiser for the Donegal Hospice proved such a great success.

On Wednesday afternoon Brian McDaid presented a cheque for €30,415 to the chairperson of the Donegal Hospice Isobel Rodgers.
The money was raised during his unique fundraiser which was organised to mark his recent 60th birthday, and dedicated to the memory of his dear mother Mary Ellen who died from cancer when Brian was just a child.


Brian McDaid with staff and management from the Donegal Hospice along with sponsors, family members and friends as he presented €30,404.00, the proceeds of his recent Drive of Ireland fundraiser in his car, Betsy.

Making the presentation Brian said he was overjoyed by the support that he received from businesses and members of the public, not just in Donegal but further afield.
“I’m humbled by the support that this fundraising drive has attracted,” Brian said.
“The phone hasn’t stopped beeping night and day since we started our journey. There have been online donations through the Idonate page, many from friends and people that I have got to know over the years.
“Then we had so many anonymous donations coming in, along with great words of encouragement.
“People had stories of family members that were in the Donegal Hospice and they told of the great care and support which they received from the hospice staff.
“Of course you have people like myself who don’t know how to donate online and who just phoned or sent a text and told me to give them a call when I finished the journey.”

Isobel Rodgers and Brian McDaid at Wednesday’s event

Brian said the trip around Ireland also allowed him the chance to celebrate the memory of his parents Fred and Mary Ellen.
“A week in a wee car on my own driving around Ireland on the first days of a new year brought a lot of memories back,” he said.
“I found myself passing through places in Leitrim and Sligo where I once lived with my parents when I was just a new born baby. Before that, they had lost little twins as infant babies.
“I was thinking a lot about Fred and Mary Ellen and those memories traveled with me on my journey which was so nice.”

The chairperson of the Donegal Hospice Isobel Rodgers thanked Brian for choosing the hospice when he began to put his fundraising venture together.
“From the day it was announced right through to the presentation today, this unique fundraiser managed to put the name of Donegal Hospice out there all over Ireland,” Isobel said.
“Brian set a target of €6,000 when he started out and it wasn’t long until he had passed that target, such was the generosity of so many people he met on his journey.

“Receiving this cheque today for over €30,000 could not come at a better time as Donegal Hospice prepares to build the much needed extension and preparations are well underway for that project.”
Isobel also thanked all those who donated to the fundraiser or took time to sell raffle tickets for a hamper draw while the drive was in progress.

A word of special thanks was also extended to the motoring and rally people in Donegal who got behind Brian and Betsy.
And in another nod to nostalgia, a bottle of champagne which was presented to Brian by Manus Kelly’s rally team some years ago was opened at the hospice on Wednesday to celebrate the charity success.


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