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*Corofin GAA Chairman, Brian Gillespie. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

Corofin GAA Club are putting mental health to the forefront this weekend, as they embark on a 24-hour fundraiser for a vital suicide awareness organisation.

Last year, the club raised €16,000 for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI), as 50 adult club members ascended Mullaghmore in the Burren, whilst soloing a football or sliotar. This year, the club intends to raise awareness on mental health and suicide by raising €5000 for Pieta House Ireland.

This year’s event, which takes place as a 24-hour run or walk 5k challenge between 6pm Saturday July 17 – 6pm Sunday July 18, will “ensure that every cent is well earned” in an extended invitation to club and community members “at home or abroad,” club chairperson Brian Gillespie explained.

Mr. Gillespie, who has held his position for six years stated, “We have people in Vancouver, Luxembourg, London, Sydney, Melbourne and Abu Dhabi. Covering all four corners of the world, this club effort extends out to all of them virtually. There are club members of all ages from U7 all the way up to Junior B, who will be joining us on the running track at the back GAA pitch on our grounds”.

Funds raised from the initiative, which Pieta has been running with numerous GAA clubs, will be split equally between the organisation and the club. Funds for Corofin GAA will help subsidise plans for a new wellness centre within the club, which will serve as both a gym and a community space for yoga and mindfulness.

These funds will help with a “huge outgoing of finance” in the club, offsetting what is expected to be a capital project in the ballpark of €100,000, according to Mr. Gillespie. The decision and awarded figure on an application for a Sports Capital grant submitted by the club will be revealed in August. Each application is awarded an amount based on its own merit, he added.

“We are looking forward to this upcoming event, and we are asking people to offer whatever they can through the iDonate link that can be found on our Facebook page. We will have a small launch at the track on Saturday at 6pm, keeping in line with COVID restrictions. We have different slots for each age group and hope to have someone on the track at all times over the 24 hour period,” he concluded.

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