In September, Cape Clear’s Niamh Ní Drisceoil received a well-deserved Appreciation and Achievement Award from the Irish Motor Neuron Association at their AGM. In recent years the island’s events, ‘Lá’ and later ‘Seachtain Spraoi Chleire’, have not only been fun filled family extravaganzas, but have year on year raised substantial funds for deserving charities – namely the Life Boat Institution and the Motor Neuron Association – with €32,750 raised to date and €4,050 in 2015 alone.
While life on a small islands may sometimes appear to be insular, the truth is that the Cape Clear Island Community is big-hearted, outward looking and generous when it comes to supporting others. Niamh, like other deserving recipients of such awards, is modest about her achievements and points out that this is very much a team effort and that the fabulous support received from all and sundry is what makes events such as Seachtain Spraoi Chleire possible. Whilst true, this does not detract from the fact that leadership and inspiration are the essential ingredients that binds communities together to such worthy effect.
“We can all take a bow and celebrate as we do when anyone from Oileán Chléire is recognised for their good works or achievements in whatever endeavour,” says islander Seamus O’Drisceoil. “Looking towards the future the award is timely because it may assist Niamh in her personal effort to raise even more funds this year for the Irish Motor Neuron Association.”
In October, Niamh plans to fundraise by abseiling from the Hogan Stand in Croke Park. See her dedicated charity web page at www.give.everydayhero.com/ie/abseil-for-imnda and feel free to sponsor her as generously as you can. Sponsorship cards available in An Siopa Beag on Cape Clear.
While Niamh says she appreciated her award and enjoyed the Irish Motor Neuron Association AGM, it was tinged with certain poignancy as she had occasion to meet and talk to current sufferers of the disease. Their stories inspired fundraisers present to redouble their efforts to support this very important cause.
“While thanking all who helped Niamh, none will grudge me a special mention to the dedicated team of Helen, Treasa, Susie and Claire,” says Seamus, “Cléire Abú”.