PARTY: Lisa Ní Iarlaithe celebrated her 50th birthday party with family and friends in The Killarney Avenue Hotel recently. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

By Michelle Crean

A birthday celebration turned into a huge fundraiser on Saturday night last for Lisa Ní Iarlaithe – who turned the BIG 50!

Lisa, from Lissivigeen, who is Deputy Principal of the Gaelscoil Faithleann, raised a whopping €2,300 for ‘Straight Ahead Ireland’, a medical support group affiliated to Crumlin, which provides surgery, support and medical equipment for children with orthopaedic conditions.

Lisa was joined by husband Sean, and children Éabha and Aindi in the Killarney Avenue Hotel. However, daughter Sadhbh who is currently in Vancouver, was greatly missed.

Also 110 family, friends, neighbours, old school and college friends turned up for the celebration and Lisa said that she was thrilled with the phenomenal support she received.

Lisa chose the charity as her daughter Éabha suffers from scoliosis and has undergone up to 20 operations since the age of six to straighten her back. The teen’s last operation in July last year took 10 hours as she had to have a bone fusion and new rods inserted into her back.

Éabha is currently studying for her Leaving Cert in the Intermediate School Killorglin and Lisa said that she is a great girl who never complains and always has a smile on her face.

However, it was only recently Lisa heard of the charity.

“I wanted to fundraise and do it for something like orthopaedic surgery,” Lisa said.

“About five weeks ago I contacted Crumlin as Éabha has been treated on St Joseph’s Ward and they suggested “Straight Ahead Ireland’ which was set up in 2011. We haven’t used the service but they take patients off the waiting list and provide surgery at weekends. The money is for support, medical equipment and aftercare.”

Speaking about her party – Lisa, whose official birthday was February 13 – said she had a great time.

“It was a great night, a huge success. I had a DJ Denis O’Leary and everyone had a great time. I want to thank everyone for coming and for their support – but Sadhbh was missed!”