The day after our country’s inaugural national holiday in honour of Brigid, Kildare Age Friendly programme partnered with Kildare West Wicklow IFA to bring a community roadshow to Kilcullen mart. Such was the turnout, an over-flow car park had to be opened and one passer-by asked this writer what sale was going on as I made my way onto the site.

Inside, the most significant health and safety issue of the day was keeping a safe distance from the enthusiastic ‘Fitstix’ programme participants striding across the car park with walking poles as they tried out this total body workout, under the guidance of Frank Fahey, facilitator of FitWALK Ireland.

On site, attendees were delighted to be able to get out and have an event take place in their locality, tailored to their interests and needs. Plenty of organisations had stands such as An Garda Síochána who were there to promote crime prevention and safety and Kildare Libraries. There was information on health and well-being, age friendly homes and education and employment. Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Martin Heydon officially opened the event and organisers were thrilled with the success of the day.

Farmers Have Hearts

The Irish Heart Foundation had their big red van on-site at Leinster Marts and we hear the foundation’s nurses “were flat to the mat until finish time.” Caitríona Pollard, Health Check Manager with the Irish Heart Foundation shared up-coming dates of their ‘Farmers Have Hearts’ health check programme and these are:

Wednesday, 1 March, Elphin Mart, Co Roscommon Tuesday, 7 March, Fermoy Mart, Co Cork Monday, 13 March, Birr Mart, Co Offaly. All taking place from 9:30am – 5pm.

A Concert for Padre Pio Concert

Promotor Pat Egan is organizing charity concerts taking place in Dublin, Cork and Limerick in aid of the Capuchin Day Centre for the Homeless. Expect an evening of spiritual, gospel and inspirational classics with Red Hurley, Donna Taggart, the Church Street Choir and special guests for this uplifting concert experience.

With Aonghus McAnally narrating, there will be a big screen celebration of Padre Pio’s life; his early years, joining the Capuchins and his devotion to prayer.

The Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People was founded by Brother Kevin Crowley over 40 years ago in Dublin 7. With a mission to restore dignity to people who find themselves on the margins of society, the centre offers a reprieve for those in need, providing home cooked meals, warm showers and fresh clothes as well as a doctor and nurse present on some days.

Concerts take place on: Saturday, 11 March, National Concert Hall, Dublin Sunday 12 March, Cork Opera House Thursday 16 March, University Concert Hall, Limerick.Tickets from €31.50 are on sale from the venues now.

Big Knit campaign

Hats off to the Innocent Big Knit Innocent drinks Big Knit campaign continues to support and raise funds for communities nationwide in support of Age Action. For each innocent smoothie sold wearing an adorable mini knitted hat, 30 cents are donated directly to the charity.

Age Action works to ensure older people live full, independent lives, in their own homes and communities; for instance, providing accessible services including carrying out minor repairs free of charge and computer training to combat digital exclusion.

Farming Community Turn Out to Honour a Special Lady

The community of Oughterard, Co Galway have raised €35,000 for Cancer Care West in memory of Rosie McGauley, a young wife and mother who passed away from cancer eight years ago.

With a farming and farm contracting services background, Rosie’s husband Daragh thought a tractor run would be an appropriate fit for their interests.

On 20 November last year, almost 200 entrants and several hundred spectators turned out to show their support to Daragh and his three children, Rionach, Rosie and Eoghan for the Rosie McGauley Memorial Truck and Tractor Run.

With 25 local volunteers on hand to organise, the run went from Oughterard towards Maam Cross on what is acknowledged to be one of the most scenic roads in the country. Despite the November weather, spectators lined the route to enjoy the spectacle.

A GoFundMe page was set up for those who wanted to show their support but could not make it on the day, contributing hugely to the funds raised.

“Cancer Care West were so helpful to Rosie during her illness and continued to support me and the family after she passed away,” says Daragh.

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