PEOPLE in Doon and surrounding parishes travelled in numbers to Clare for sad and happier reasons.
Last December, over 200 helped the Richardson family search for their beloved Gillian, who they lost through suicide.
For weeks they helped a search for her body in very poor weather conditions, but sadly to no avail.
The Richardson family are eternally grateful to all who helped try to find their Gillian, and organised a charity dance in her memory.
Over €9,000 was raised and cheques have been presented to Doolin Search and Rescue, Clare Suicide Bereavement Support Group and Pieta House.
Her Doon neighbour and friend, Jimmy Buckley, played to a packed house in the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon.
Gillian’s brother, Johnny, said Gillian would have been smiling down on the dance.
“There was a huge turnout from East Limerick, from Doon and surrounding parishes.
“There was a good mix of people but in particular from Doon, I think the whole village was there. The came in buses, it was unbelievable,” said Johnny.
As well as raising money for three very good causes, the night honoured Gillian’s memory.
“She would have liked that. Jimmy was brilliant and the band were top notch. Everyone was in good spirits and we had a great night.
“There was no melancholy, it was night to remember Gillian and raise money for good causes,” said Johnny, who thanked everyone for making the event the big success it was, and the Jimmy Buckley band for giving their services for free.
The Richardson family is highly respected in Doon and this was reflected by the crowds who helped with the search.
Some people came every day and took holidays from work. They kept on arriving well in to the New Year - rain or shine.
While Gillian was never found, the Richardsons did find great solace from the support.
“Looking back we got great solace from all the support and we couldn’t have done anymore.
“There is a certain amount of peace in that. We have come to accept that fact now and the main thing is Gillian is at peace,” said Johnny.
They hope the money raised will help other people affected by depression.
“Pieta House help people, hopefully, before anything too bad happens. They are a prevention centre and their role is fundamental. They do fantastic work for people in trouble.
“The more publicity they get the better because people who are in trouble might realise that they are actually there.
“The service they provide is free and confidential and very important.
“Hopefully they will have a big role to play in the future,” said Johnny.
Each charity received €3,050.
“Clare Suicide Bereavement Support Group are for, God forbid, if something does happen,” said Johnny.
While Doolin Search and Rescue helped the family and all who travelled to the Clare coast search Gillian.