Brian Hunt Memorial Committee honoured for fundraising efforts

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

A COMMITTEE who organised a fundraising golf tournament in memory of a 26-year-old man who passed away from a rare kidney disease have been named the Limerick Persons of the Month.

A COMMITTEE who organised a fundraising golf tournament in memory of a 26-year-old man who passed away from a rare kidney disease have been named the Limerick Persons of the Month.

The first ever Brian Hunt Memorial golf classic which took place at Rathbane Golf Club in March raised €20,000 for the Irish Kidney Association.

The event saw 144 golfers from across Ireland and the UK compete in a fun ‘scramble’ competition.

The golf classic was the result of months of hard work from friends, family and co-workers of Brian Hunt from Raheen who passed away in May 2011 after a long battle with the rare kidney disease MPGN type 2.

“It was a community effort. When Brian died we just decided that we had to remember him in some way,” said the late Brian’s best friend Jonathan McDonnell who is a member of the Brian Hunt Memorial Committee.

“We couldn’t speak more highly of him. We know that if the same thing happened to us he would have been there for us. We raised €20,000 and that doesn’t just happen – so many people wanted to lend a hand because of who he was,” added Jonathan.

In preparation for the golf classic the committee got gear signed by golfing superstars including Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graham McDowell.

“We got jodhpurs signed by well-known faces in the racing world. We got a signed Arsenal and Chelsea jersey and signed Munster, Leinster, Ireland and Bolton jerseys. Graham McDowell sent us a tweet as well just wishing us well,” continued Jonathan.

The Hunt family who originally lived in Kildimo moved to Raheen nine years ago. Brian’s dad Gabriel is originally from Newcastle West.

Brian was remembered by his only sibling, Cian, as a “brilliant” brother who was always there for him. “Anything I would ask for, he would always give it – no ifs or buts. He went away to a soccer match once and while the lads were concerned about drinking, Brian was more concerned about bringing me back a pair of football boots,” said Cian.

Brian was diagnosed with the kidney condition MPGN type 2 when he was about six years old and had been on medication and steroids.

He wasn’t able to take part in rugby as much as he would have liked but his condition didn’t hold him back on the soccer pitch.

“He always wanted to play rugby but if he got a knock in the wrong place it would have affected him. He used to play soccer for years – he was a brilliant soccer player. He played with Fairview in Corbally. He also played GAA when he was younger,” said Cian who recently celebrated the birth of his daughter Robyn – his first child.

Brian, who worked with Certus on Henry Street, was remembered by his colleagues as a diligent worker and an extremely loyal colleague. “He was very hard working and diligent – he couldn’t do enough for his colleagues and had great attention for detail,” said Michael Noonan, senior manager with Certus.

Mark Murphy, the chief executive of the Irish Kidney Association, said that the affection with which Brian was held by all those who knew him was clear in the time, effort and hard work the organisers put into the golf competition.

The Person of the Month award is sponsored by the Limerick Leader, the Clarion Hotel and Southern.