At the launch of Sunday’s Lar O' Neill memorial truck and tractor run in Hospital are Anthony Keyes, Jimmy O' Neill, John Dineen, and Darragh O Mahoney Picture: Michael Cowhey
A MEMORIAL truck and tractor run organised by a County Limerick businessman will mark the start of Organ Donor Awareness week.
For the second year in a row, haulier and publican Jimmy O’Neill, from Hospital, is holding the event on Easter Sunday to honour his late brother Lar. All proceeds will go to the Irish Kidney Association.
The late Lar, who had suffered kidney disease in his early twenties, received a successful kidney transplant which he enjoyed for almost three decades before, sadly, he passed away from an unrelated illness aged 54.
Last year’s inaugural event was a big success. It attracted 75 trucks and 40 tractors and raised more than €6,200 for the Irish Kidney Association. Registration at O’Neill’s yard in Hospital commences on Easter Sunday, April 1 from 11am and a convoy of trucks and tractors will leave at 1.30pm. Later that day there will be a barbecue, music, fun and entertainment for children at O’Neill’s Pub.
Mr O’Neill said: “To honour the memory of my younger brother Lar and to highlight the importance of organ donation, myself, his twin sister, my daughters Emma and Shauna, my son Michael and my friend John, are organising this event, for the second year in a row. We chose the Irish Kidney Association again this year to fundraise for.”
He said it is because of Lar’s deceased kidney donor he enjoyed a new lease of life for almost thirty years.
“In that time he married Collette and became the proud father of Meadhbh. We were also lucky to enjoy his company for all that time. We are grateful to all that supported the event last year and we hope that we can help raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.
“We hope that we can build upon the success of last year’s event and attract even more participants this year with an even larger display and convoy of trucks and tractors,” said Mr O’Neill.
Entry is €30 for trucks and €20 for tractors. Contact Michael 087 0538229 or John 087 4182639. Mr O’Neill plans to run a table quiz for the Irish Kidney Association in O’Neill’s pub in May.
During Organ Donor Awareness Week – March 31 until April 7 - volunteers from the Limerick branch of Irish Kidney Association will be distributing organ donor cards and selling forget-me-not flower emblems and other merchandise in the city and county.
There are approximately 550 people in Ireland awaiting life-saving heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants. Thanks to the gift of organ donation almost 3500 transplanted people in Ireland are enjoying extended life. For an organ donor card free text the word DONOR to 50050