Friends and neighbours rally to help Richard

Aileen Hahesy

Family, friends and neighbours of a 24 year-old man, who suffered a serious head injury that left him in a coma for three months, are campaigning to raise funds to help pay for his care and recovery.

Richard Quirke from Poulacapple near Mullinahone suffered a serious brain haemorrhage as a result of the head injury he suffered during a night out in Kilkenny City on October 27 last year.

The popular young man, who lived in Callan, Co. Kilkenny before his injury, underwent two major operations in Beaumont Hospital and was in a coma until the end of January.

His aunt-in-law Ann Marie Butler from Coalbrook, Thurles, said Richard is now in St. Lukes Hospital in Kilkenny and is making significiant progress.

“His family, friends and neighbours have set up a committee to raise funds for his rehabilitiation and support. Our current target is €50,000,” said Ann-Marie, who is the RIchard Quirke Support Fund committee’s PRO.

“It was the public who asked us to do this. People wanted to do something for Richard and the only thing they could do was give their support through fundraising. We have very good neighbours and friends, who have been a huge support. Everyone has been so good.”

The first fundraiser is a classical choral and music concert in St John’s Church in Kilkenny on Friday week, April 16.

Castlecomer Male Voice Choir, Thukolo Gospel Choir, Callan tenor Brendan Hackett and singer Noelle Morrissey will all sing at the concert. A classical guitarist and flautist are among the musicians lined up to perform.

Ann Marie said tickets for the concert are on sale in shops in Mullinahone, Ballingarry and Callan and the committee are delighted with the ticket sales so far.

Another upcoming fundraiser is a food demonstration night on April 23 in the Clodagh Bar in Portlaw, Co. Waterford, which is owned by Richard’s aunt.

“We plan to run sponsored walks and cycles, sponsored soccer and hurling matches during the year but have no definite arrangement yet for these events,” she continued.

The committee has also written to local companies appealing for donations.

Ann Marie pointed out that the committee is not certain the j50,000 target will be enough or too much. If Richard’s condition improves substantially, she said they will allocate any surplus funds to an appropriate charity.

A special bank account has been set up in the AIB in Callan for donations. Anyone wishing to contribute to the fund can lodge their donation to the Richard Quirke Support Fund account, sort code:93 30 90 and account number:04779057.

The committee is chaired by Bridget Forristal from Poulacapple, its secretary is Mary Byrne, Tullamaine, Callan; PRO is Ann Marie Butler and treasurers are Tom Butler, Ballingarry and John Quirke, Poulacapple.

Other committee members include Joanie Treacy, Richard Butler, Thomas Forristal, Patricia Butler, Noreen Stafford, Breda Quirke and Andrew Byrne.

Anyone wishing to find out further information on the campaign should contact Ann Marie Butler at (087) 9597 355.


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