Clontarf Hurl-A-Ton raises funds for two defibrillators
By John Harrington
Thanks to a novel fundraiser, Clontarf GAA club are very close to hitting the financial target required to purchase two new life-saving defibrillators for their community.
Last Saturday, around 40 club members including players from their senior hurling and camogie teams took part in a Hurl-A-Ton challenge that saw them puck sliotars for a total of 100 miles with their considerable efforts now close to raising €4,000.
“We wanted to do something to capture people’s attention,” says Clontarf GAA Healthy Club Officer, Ciaran Doran.
“The club is 60 years old this year so we thought could do something that's linked to the birth of the club and could we in some way go from St. Anne's Park to the spiritual home of hurling in Thurles where the GAA was born.
“We reckoned that was about 100 miles, so we said we'd puck a ball the equivalent of 100 miles and all the players really loved that idea and they all came on board.
“So we just had great craic then last Saturday afternoon.”
According to a recent survey, 42 lives across Ireland have been saved by Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) located in GAA facilities being used on members of their communities.
Many GAA clubs have recently purchased defibrillators through the Community Heart Programme which encourages every club in the country to A.C.T. now and ensure that their club can also be prepared in case of an emergency and that they can avail of a defibrillator that is ACCESSIBLE, CHARGED and that there are enough TRAINED rescuers within your Club who have the ability to operate the device(s).
“Through the Healthy Clubs programme we had been interested in refreshing what we were doing around defibrillators and CPR,” says Doran.
“When we looked at what the club had we actually had four defibrillators already, but when we investigated the topic we found that the local area was underserved with publically available defibrillators.
“So the unique piece about this fundraiser is that we're raising money for defibrillators not for the GAA premises, but we're going to site these in public locations around our local area in Clontarf, so we're giving back to the local community if you like.
“We're working with an organisation called Clontarf first responders who are almost like an extension of the Emergency Services. They're volunteers who respond quickly so we're working with them to find the best locations for the defibrillators.
“Basically we just wanted to give something back to the community and just address that issue about the area being slightly underserved with publicly available defibrillators.
“We were targeting 2,000 euro for one defibrillator but we're nearly up at 4,000 euro now so we're definitely going to be able to buy two.”
The value of the Hurl-A-Thon for Clontarf GAA club already feels like it will go far beyond the money raised.
If a life is ultimately saved by one of the defibrillators purchased then that would obviously be priceless, but there’s serious value too in the club spirit generated by such a worthy initiative.
“We're really delighted,” says Doran. “One of the great things about it has been the camogie and hurling teams coming together and working together.
“This is the first year we've had an adult camogie team for many years so it's helping to put Camogie on the map in Clontarf as well.
“Really delighted, really impressed with all the young players who got involved with it. They've got something out of this as well because they've become more interested in the whole topic and many of them now have an interest in getting trained up in the use of defibrillators and CPR which we will follow up on as soon as possible, Covid permitting."
- If your club is interested in purchasing a defibrillator through the Community Heart Programme, go HERE.