We all need to hear good news from time to time and this is one good news story that might just warm your heart.
In recent months, the addition of a new physical link has forged new social connections between the communities of Lough Gur and Bruff. Both communities united on Saturday last with a walk to raise funds for charity.
Over sixty participants gathered at the lakefront with a common purpose to walk in solidarity for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House as part of the Climb with Charlie Bird initiatives taking place across Ireland. The walkers arrived at Beechinor’s Store in Holycross at 10.45am on the button for a brief water stop and then made their way along the new link footpath to the start of the Slí na Sláinte for a brief photo call to mark the day.

Sponsors commended
The group of walkers set off again at pace to Bruff where they were welcomed by members of BGM Community Council, the Bruff Heritage Group and residents.
Sponsors, including Ishka, Nagle’s Eurospar, Top Shop and Bruff Credit Union were commended for providing refreshments for the participants. Walkers stayed a short while and smiles and banter were the order of the day before returning back along the route to Lough Gur. The full 15km walk, or c.17,000 steps, took three hours, including stops for chats.

Communities working together
Councillor Brigid Teefy, who was was there to support the walkers, commented, “The communities of Lough Gur, Holycross and Bruff are to be commended for organising this event to raise funds for two very worthy causes.
Many of the people that I met have said that junction upgrade works have allowed them to enjoy regular walks from Bruff to Holycross.
It is a great example of communities, local landowners and the Council working together. Limerick City and County Council took on board and listened to what the communities and landowners asked for and, by all accounts, everyone is very pleased with the outcome so far. We look forward to further improvement works at this junction before the project is fully completed in May.
The new upgrade works along the Slí na Sláinte have already commenced and will provide an improved surface for all walkers.
Well done to all involved.”

Getting out, staying active
Councillor PJ Carey was also in attendance and commented, “This improved new walkway from Lough Gur to Bruff has many benefits that are clear to see in terms of road safety and accessibility for walkers. Another very important benefit of the Slí na Sláinte and junction upgrade works is improved physical and mental health for those that make the most of this new trail. Getting out and about, staying active, connecting with people in our communities are all ways to stay fit. It is a great boost for everyone here to be out in the fresh air and enjoying the improved recreational amenities in this part of Limerick. Congratulations to the walk organisers for giving everyone a good opportunity to meet up, all in the name of two very good causes.”

Many great moments
Ending the day on a positive note, the manager for Lough Gur, Kate Harrold, said, “The walk started out as an event to raise funds for charity. However, the day was full of great moments that included meeting many generous people who took time out to take part in the walk, or just to appear at stop points along the way and offer kind words of support. To all the generous people who took part and offered kind words, on behalf of Lough Gur Development and BGM Community Council, we thank you.”
Ticket sales and donations totalled €1,250 and this will now be donated to the Climb with Charlie charities of choice via the iDonate page.