Local fundraiser brings MND into the spotlight

Awareness around Motor Neurone Disease (MND) has heightened in recent times with much loved TV sports personality Colm Murray speaking out about his own personal journey of hope and courage following his diagnosis with the illness.

Awareness around Motor Neurone Disease (MND) has heightened in recent times with much loved TV sports personality Colm Murray speaking out about his own personal journey of hope and courage following his diagnosis with the illness.

In Ballinalee later this month a huge fundraiser will take place to raise some much needed funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) Care and Research and Research Motor Neurone (RMN). The initiative emerged after the community in the north Longford parish lost one of its own much loved members to the disease – Maggie Murtagh RIP.

Maggie’s husband Seamus, and Neil Rawle who is a first cousin of Colm Murray were chatting one evening after the funeral when the idea to raise funds for the organisation and create awareness of the illness came to them. “We made contact with people affected by the disease in the area and then we organised a meeting in Rawle’s Lounge,” Mr Rawle said. “A committee was then established and contact was made with national organisation IMNDA and RMN which gave us the go ahead with the fundraising initiative.”

On Saturday, August 25 next a bucket collection will take place in Longford town and the following Friday night, August 31 a musical extravaganza takes place in Rawle’s Lounge in Ballinalee. The Lounge will play host to a number of well known, local artists including Seamus Farrell, Gerry Keenan, Padraic Sweeney, Andy Murphy, Pascal Flaherty, Connie Reilly, Carmel McLoughlin, Denis Hughes, Noel Briody, Séan Hussey, Brian Ross, Ciaron Nally and Christy & Mono, winners of ‘Cavan’s Got Talent’. Tickets cost 5 or admission optional on the night. Locally there are also a number of draws taking place to raise funds and everyone is invited to come along and support this very worthwhile fundraising initiative. “We have received great support and the whole community has come on board, which is brilliant,” Mr Rawle added. “This is a very worthy cause and we are hoping that people will support it in any way they can.”

MND is a neurological disorder that selectively affect motor neurons, the cells that control voluntary muscle activity including speaking, walking, breathing, swallowing and general movement of the body. It is a disease that is generally progressive in nature, and causes progressive disability and death.