‘Emotional’ Limerick businessman surpasses €100,000 fundraising target

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Well-known Limerick businessman Tom Moran is celebrating after raising more than €100,000 for Pieta House.

Well-known Limerick businessman Tom Moran is celebrating after raising more than €100,000 for Pieta House.

Athea man Tom, proprietor of the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin, is reaching the end of his 50km walk from the village to Dublin.

Dubbed the Tomathon, a nickname coined by his daughter Stacey, the hotelier’s walk had aimed to raise €100,000 for the suicide prevention charity, which has centres in Mungret and Lucan.

But an outpouring of public support has led to Tom hitting his target three days from the end of the walk.

And the money is still coming in!

Tom revealed how between 50 and 80 people, including many from his home town have kept him company over the first 200 miles.

“It has been absolutely fantastic. Around 700 people waved me off in Athea last week. I am amazed at all the support I have received. In actual fact, I have felt a bit emotional around it,” said Tom.

The businessman - who has a number of other hotel interests in Ireland and Britain - has won the support of a number of people, including former Munster stars Keith Wood, and Alan Quinlan as well as comedian Brendan Grace.

Publican Charlie Chawke also presented him with a cheque for €10,000 following a fundraiser at his pub in Adare.

“We have surpassed our aim. I am just bowled over by the support. It is unbelievable,” Tom added.

Tom says he has not set himself a new target - preferring now to raise awareness of Pieta House.

“I got a phone call from an old friend, who asked to talk to me. Obviously I could because I was walking. He immediately offered to put down €500 for the cause,” Tom added.

Many people have shown generosity through the money they gave - but Tom said that people have shown the group great hospitality during their trip.

Previously, Tom said he chose Pieta House because, during a previous career as an undertaker, he says he used to see the extent of the suicide problem all the time.

Tom is due to complete the final stretch of the walk later today, from the Kildare town to the Red Cow.

In a unique twist, guests at Tom’s 10 hotels in Britain and Ireland will be asked to get in on the act - with a treadmill set up in the reception of each.

The aim is to match Tom’s achievement, which he says will be a test of endurance, rather than speed.

For more information on the walk, call Gillian Liston at 01-4593650, or visit www.thetomathon2012.com.