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F.A.O. Donegal G.A.A. Clubs,

A 3-day charity fundraiser that Joe Coyle (a Financial Broker from Mountcharles and Chairman of Darkness into Light, Donegal Town) and I are doing on June 17th, 18th and 19th 2016 in aid of PIETA HOUSE NORTH WEST.

As some of you may know on December 4th 2012 a young man, Aaron Scott from Copany near Donegal Town was lost from our community through suicide. Aaron was 26 years old and while primarily a soccer player he would often be seen with his friends at Tír Conaill Park or Páirc Naomh Bríd, Ballintra.

I feel that his death was so avoidable if better services had been available in Co. Donegal and our community is certainly not the only one affected by suicide and that every one of you know some family sadly bereaved in this way.

Pieta House provides free professional help to those who have attempted or are considering suicide or self-harm. They have 9 centres nationwide but the nearest centre to Co. Donegal is in Tuam, Co. Galway. They have committed, through their CEO Brian Higgins’ interview on Highland Radio on 19/02/2016 to providing Pieta House services in the Northwest in 2017. Their annual fundraiser, Darkness into Light, took place recently in 7 locations throughout Co. Donegal. This has grown from 3 locations in 2015 and 1 in Letterkenny in 2014, when Aaron Scott’s sister Donna Maskery was the first chairperson of Pieta House Darkness into Light in Co. Donegal.

On June 17th 2016 Joe Coyle and I will cycle from Mountcharles to Burtonport, on June 18th we will walk the Islands of Arranmore, Gola and Tory arriving in Downings on Saturday evening. On Sunday June 19th we will start to walk from Downings at 4.00am, along Downings beach, past Glenree FC pitch, Glen Lough, Glenveagh National Park, Glendowan, Meenaroy, Ballinamore, over the Bluestack Mountains and hopefully arriving back in Mountcharles within 24 hours.

As you can see from the attached flyer there are numerous ways to help with this great cause, from sponsorship cards to counter top money boxes to text to donate and idonate webpage but the main reason of this longer than expected email is to get clubs involved in the Bucket Collection on Saturday June 18th. We have a permit to do a bucket collection in every town and village in Co. Donegal from 9.00am to 11.00pm on that day. It would be amazing if as many clubs as possible could do a collection in your town or area for this worthy cause. We will provide the buckets and if you are interested we will need one contact person for each town to co-ordinate the collection.

For more details you can contact myself on 087-2215300 or Joe Coyle on 087-2579931.

A Pieta House in the Northwest is going to save lives in the future and one of those lives could be someone very close to us. It could be your son, daughter, neighbour, team mate or even yourself. Nobody knows who will be affected by mental health issues or depression in the future. This is our chance to stand up and be counted.

Thank you very much in advance for your help in our campaign and for reading this email and forwarding it to the relevant people within your club. Thanks also to the Donegal G.A.A. Health & Wellbeing Committee for being so supportive of this event.

Yours in Sport, Thomas Given.

LET’S DO THIS!