John Donnelly a past IFA president (1994-1998) and cancer survivor is now on the board of Cancer Care West where he has recently been involved a fundraising effort to purchase a bus for the cancer patients of north Mayo.
As a survivor himself he knows “the patients want to concentrate on getting better without the extra burden of worry about travelling for treatment” in Galway City. He felt it was right to “give something back as a survivor myself”, and so he set out on raising the necessary funds for the €200,000 bus.
He got in contact with the IFA in Mayo where his endeavour was met with full support. It was decided a raffle would be held with €5,000 worth of prizes donated. Roy O’Brien from the IFA told the Irish Farmers Journal that “all 55 Mayo branches of the IFA got behind the fundraiser and sold tickets”. Tickets were three for €20 and sales generated €71,760 which Donnelly described as a “fantastic success”.
The bus has been up and running the past two months and is free to all cancer patients of north Mayo. Donnelly believes the “IFA has shown it is more than an organisation that supports farmers exclusively, but everyone in the surrounding community” and that “cancer patients are not alone, we are here to help everyone”.
He also said the fundraiser received generous donations towards funding the bus from Aurivo and McHale which he is very grateful for.
Looking after the 'top paddock'
Dublin2Mayo tractor run hopes to raise much-needed funds for charity