A giant fundraiser held in Monagea recently to remember two young people from the area who died suddenly is set to exceed all expectations and raise over €100,000 for the CRY Centre.

In 2011, in the space of 8 months, the parish lost two young people to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, Niamh Herlihy (20) and Darra O’Donovan (15). Remembering Niamh and Darra and raising money for CRY was the reason for this charity event.

The CRY Centre is a specialised unit based in Tallaght Hospital and provides heart screening for families and individuals, and counselling and support for families affected by sudden death or cardiac conditions. It raises awareness of the condition known as Sudden Cardiac Death or Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. The centre relies totally on charity events such as the one organised in Monagea and receives no direct government funding.

Almost 1,700 people took part in the event, 350 cyclists and over 1,300 runners and walkers in what was a huge outpouring of support for the centre and its work. Local businesses supported the event, as did local schools, which organised cake sales and ‘no uniform’ days.

“We would like to say a huge thanks to all the people of the parish and people from a 30-40 mile radius and beyond who supported the event. The amount of people who helped with the different aspects of the organisation was phenomenal. It was a massive undertaking, we cannot thank them enough” said Clare O’Donovan, mother of Darra.

Confirming that this is just the start, Ms O’Donovan said: “It will definitely be an annual event because the response and feedback has been great and so positive.”

Echoing the sentiments was Liam Herlihy, father of Niamh. “We are so proud to be able to organise such an event and how successful it proved to be. Catering for up to 2,000 people is a huge undertaking and we would like to thank everybody who helped in any way.”