Pieta House in Limerick set to expand services

SUICIDE prevention charity Pieta House will be able to open two extra nights a week in Limerick - thanks to a fundraiser by former city publican Tom Moran.

SUICIDE prevention charity Pieta House will be able to open two extra nights a week in Limerick - thanks to a fundraiser by former city publican Tom Moran.

Mr Moran led a 250-kilometre walk between his home village of Athea, West Limerick, and his hotel, the Red Cow on Dublin’s southside.

In doing so, he raised an incredible €191,000 for Pieta House, which has a centre in Mungret.

After receiving the cheque at a presentation on Friday night, Cindy O’Connor, chief operating officer of Pieta House, said the charity is now able to appoint two new therapists.

“Never in our history have we had a fundraising event that was this successful. It is absolutely incredible. I have spent the last three days interviewing people, and we are now in a position to take on more staff. We will open up a couple more evenings a week, and this is all thanks to Tom Moran,” she said.

Dozens of Mr Moran’s supporters turned up at Bill Chawke’s bar in Adare on Friday night for a celebration of his achievements.

But Mr Moran said all the credit is due to the people who took part in the walk - named the Tomathon - with him.

“There were no days where there were less than 100 people on the walk, and it grew and grew and grew. I don’t deserve the praise - it is the people who are with me who deserve the praise. I was only the leader. It is like a team manager - it is the team who wins the game, not the manager,” he said, adding: “This is the most successful thing I have done in my whole life.”

Pat Power, group financial director, Moran Hotels, said the money raised will give Pieta House a “great start to the New Year”.

Mr Moran - whose hotel empire stretches to London, Manchester and Leeds - added: “I did not realise there were so many good people out there. People ask me why I did it. Without going into detail, I had a reason. Suicide has been very close to my heart. I hope this money will save a lot of people.”

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