One of the largest attendances ever witnessed at Clonmel Greyhound Stadium turned up on Sunday night for the benefit meeting in aid of the family of the late Christian Flannery and Temple Street Children’s Hospital.
The event was organised to support Paddy and Katriona Flannery from Clerihan, the parents of 7 year-old Christian who died in June, although they only agreed to the benefit on condition that a significant contribution from the proceeds would be donated to the Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin, where their young son passed away.
“It was an emotional night for the Flannery family and their friends.
No doubt Christian would love to have been there”, his uncle Michael Flannery said.
Christian was seriously injured while galloping greyhounds with his father at home on May 20 and he passed away on June 19.
He fought bravely for his life for four weeks, with his parents maintaining a constant vigil at his bedside.
The staff at Temple Street Hospital became very attached to him and went beyond the call of duty in their efforts to save his life but it was not to be.
Christian was always on the go and his two passions were hurling and greyhounds.
He was captain of Clerihan’s under 8s and was very proud to lift the team’s first trophy.
Eoin Kelly was his hero and when he heard about his accident Eoin very generously made time to visit him in Temple Street Hospital to wish him well.
According to Michael Flannery, the benefit night was a huge success.
“It was a fantastic family night out with a great atmosphere”, he said.
He added that the organising committee was very grateful to everyone who bought tickets and supported the event in any way.
Minister of State Tom Hayes and Deputy Mattie McGrath were among the large attendance at the track.
The huge attendance not only contributed massively to the fund but by their presence illustrated the impact that Christian made on the community in his all too brief life.
It was a night to remember and the organising committee ensured it had something for everyone.
Raffles, auctions, face painting and novelty events added to the occasion, which featured a bumper ten-race card with almost €10,000 in prize money.
The winner of the buster draw was Paula Hennessy from Kilmacomma.
Overall, the event exceeded all expectations.