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Brennan family honoured with support for latest HPV campaign

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GAA clubs across the country are doing their bit to raise awareness for the HPV vaccine, a campaign that had been spearheaded by Ennis’ Laura Brennan up until her death in March.

Bringing a new angle on the campaign to encourage teenage girls and boys to get the HPV vaccine, sporting clubs are being urged to place the logo of the HPV vaccine on training tops for their various teams.

Numerous teams and clubs have already committed to backing the initiative with Éire Óg Inis, Wolfe Tones na Sionna, Kilrush ladies football, Mooncoin camogie, Clare’s Kennedy Cup squad, Clare handball, Newmarket-on-Fergus camogie, Lissycasey football, Truagh/Clonlara camogie, Sinn Féin GAC in Melbourne, Kildysart GAA, St Josephs Doora/Barefield ladies football, Clarecastle camogie, Windgap camogie, East Clare Gaels, Killanena GAA, Inagh/Kilnamona camogie, the Clare minor camogie side, Fergus Rovers some of the clubs already on board in less than a week.

Clare’s senior hurling panel are the most high profile team to confirm they are partaking in the campaign. “We will be playing our part to promote takeup of the HPV vaccine as well as marking Laura Brennan’s legacy as an inspiring advocate for the Vaccination Programme by wearing a specially commissioned set of training gear,” a spokesperson for the management told The Clare Echo.

The Brennan family talk to the Clare Senior Hurling panel at Cusack Park on Friday. Photograph by Eamon Ward

Shane Collins from Newmarket-on-Fergus who runs Ború Sports are designing the training tops for clubs which can be purchased for €17. To book your clubs set of HPV training tops, email shane@borusports.ie.

In a statement, the Brennan family acknowledged the support they have received in recent weeks and the amount of goodwill towards the latest campaign.

“We would like to thank everyone for their kind words and positive response to Laura’s documentary and our appearance on The Late Late Show. We are honoured that the Clare senior hurlers and various other GAA clubs in Ireland are putting the HPV logo on their training tops in memory of Laura and the 130 women and men who die in Ireland each year from HPV related cancers.

“It is great to see sportspeople in our communities act as role models advocating in favour of the HPV vaccine. With the vaccine being rolled out to boys for the first time this September and again for girls we are certain this initiative will help further improve the uptake of the HPV vaccine and in turn save lives”.

At the time of Laura’s death, the HSE praised her for directly leading to an uptake of the vaccine by almost 20 percentage points from 51 percent in 2017 to 70 percent at the time of her death in March 2019.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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