TWO Limerick charities have benefited to the tune of €4,400 from the recent Whistleblowers event in the Lime Tree Theatre, organised by Limerick Leader editor Alan English.
All of the proceeds from the February event were this week donated to the two charities – Cycle 4 Sick Children and the Mid-West Simon Community – by Alan and Lime Tree manager Louise Donlon.
Representatives of both charities expressed their delight at receiving the funds as well as much needed exposure from the event, which featured crusading Irish journalists Paul Kimmage and David Walsh discussing their experiences of confronting the drug cheat Lance Armstrong.
The 510-seater venue in Mary Immaculate College was sold-out for the event, which was compered by Leader editor Alan, who worked with both Walsh and Kimmage at The Sunday Times and was sued by the now disgraced cyclist over a 2004 piece he wrote about Walsh’s pursuit of him.
“It was a good night and the best thing about it was that two excellent local causes have benefited from people coming out to support it,” said Mr English this week.“I’d like to thank David and Paul for giving their time to come to Limerick and also all at the Lime Tree Theatre, who couldn’t have been more helpful.”
Liam Mulcahy of Cycle 4 Sick Children said: “We are delighted obviously with the amount that has been raised, but not only that, the awareness for us as a club is huge. Our big thing is getting coverage for what we are doing locally, that is very important to us and to get a donation of this size is massive for us as well.”
The charity, set up in 2007 to create awareness around rare diseases afflicting children, currently 132 members – including Paul Kimmage.
“Back in December Paul officially signed up as a member and has been a great supporter of us. It is good to have a well renowned ex-professional and celebrity who will speak out on the club’s behalf, both nationally and internationally,” said Mr Mulcahy. “This event has gained extra profile for us, which is fantastic,” he added.
Ian Culhane, administrator with Mid-West Simon Community, said the donation would go to services based in Limerick and the wider region.
“It is excellent, a massive help to our organisation and we are really grateful to Alan, Paul and David and the Lime Tree Theatre,” he explained. “We cover homelessness in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary and this will make a massive difference to us, it will definitely help us a lot.”
The final staging of the Whistleblowers event will take place at Dublin’s Bord Gais Theatre on Saturday, April 20.