Foxhounds go extra mile to assist families of injured jockey and sports figure

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

Fundraiser in aid of JT McNamara, pictured, and Johnny Walsh
A JOINT fundraising initiative is being run by the County Limerick Foxhounds at Limerick Greyhound Stadium on December 6 in aid of the families of injured jockey, JT McNamara, and well-known sports figure, Johnny Walsh.

A JOINT fundraising initiative is being run by the County Limerick Foxhounds at Limerick Greyhound Stadium on December 6 in aid of the families of injured jockey, JT McNamara, and well-known sports figure, Johnny Walsh.

JT McNamara, a father-of-three from Croom received a serious neck injury during the Cheltenham festival last March.

The 37-year-old was transferred to the Mater Hospital in Dublin after initially being treated at the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

He has now been moved, to continue his rehabilitation at a specialist unit on Merseyside, following his transfer from the Mater hospital in Dublin.

Speaking about the fundraising event, Emma Buckley from the County Limerick Hunt, and organiser of this fundraiser, said “as members of the County Limerick Foxhounds we wanted to have an event to raise money for JT and his family because he is a local man who is much admired and respected by everyone in the hunt.”

Meanwhile, on July 3, lifed change for Johnny Walsh – a hugely popular GAA and soccer coach – after he came home from work and went out for his usual summertime evening run with his wife Annemarie. Three hours later he was being rushed from their home in Athlacca to Cork University Hospital suffering from a colloid cyst in his brain.

After undergoing extensive surgery on his brain and a long spell in intensive care, he is currently in a wheelchair and is on a long, slow road of rehabilitation.

The father-of-two who is originally from Croom has been hugely popular in the motorcycling community over the past two decades and, in more recent years, through his two sons, Mikie and Jake, he has been a familiar sight on the side-lines of soccer, hurling, rugby and GAA pitches in Athlacca, Holycross and Bruff.

He is showing great determination in getting through his daily, and sometimes gruelling, physiotherapy sessions in hospital to get sufficiently well for a place in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.

His wife, Annemarie, and sons, Jake and Mikie, parents, Reenie and John, and other family members have been a constant support by his side through his on-going rehabilitation.

Jane Foley from the County Limerick Hunt and organiser of this fundraiser, said “Annemarie, Johnny’s wife, hunts with us, and is a member of our hunt committee. Her family have been supporters of the hunt for years, so we felt we wanted to do something for Annemarie and her family to show our support for Johnny.”

Tickets for this event can be purchased by contacting Emma Buckley on 0872078398 or Jane Foley on 0863155537 or by visiting www.igb.ie/limerick

For more information and to keep up-to-date with the event visit www.facebook.com/Jtandjohnny.