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O'Donovan Rossa GAC go the extra mile for St John Ambulance

By John Harrington

O’Donovan Rossa GAA club in Belfast have raised over €8,500 and counting in a fundraising drive for St. John Ambulance (NI).

Their 34-county challenge saw their members run, walk, or cycle to ‘virtually’ travel the distance from Rossa Park to every county ground in Ireland as well as Ruislip in London and Gaelic Park in New York.

O’Donovan Rossa GAA club in Belfast have raised over €8,500 and counting in a fundraising drive for the St. John Ambulance.
O’Donovan Rossa GAA club in Belfast have raised over €8,500 and counting in a fundraising drive for the St. John Ambulance.

That came to a considerable total of around 6,500 kilometres, which the club members completed on Sunday.

“We decided to support the St. John Ambulance because they're such a vital cog to our games as paramedics at so many matches,” explains O’Donovan Rossa Club PRO, David Mohan.

“They're very much on the frontline too in the battle against Covid.

“Last month they issued a fund-raising appeal because they were at risk of going under. Were that to happen, it would be a huge loss for the GAA, so we decided to help them as much as we could."

A galaxy of current and former GAA stars including Lee Chin, Aidan O’Shea, Patrick Horgan, and Sean Cavanagh all lent their support to the fund-raising drive by publishing videos welcoming O’Donovan Rossa club-members to their county grounds.

“They were all more than happy to help,” says Mohan. “We ended up with nearly more videos than we could use. Everybody was delighted to buy in to what we were doing and welcome us to their county ground and encourage people to donate to the fundraiser.

“It was just a savage collective effort by everyone. Everybody played their part. It's great to be able to help such worthy charity like the St John Ambulance which has such strong connections with the GAA.

“It got our club-members out exercising which is great for mental health too. It got people out of the house and gave them some purpose at a time when they might have been lacking motivation and not knowing what to do with themselves.”

You can donate to the O’Donovan Rossa GAC fundraiser for St John Ambulance NI here - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rossa32countychallenge

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