REMEMBERING NIALL: Four Killarney schools have plans to join forces next week for a fundraiser in memory the much loved Killarney teen Niall McGillicuddy. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

Four Killarney schools have plans to join forces next week for a fundraiser in memory the much loved Killarney teen Niall McGillicuddy, who passed away last year.

Niall, of Cloonteens, Kilcummin, passed away last October after a short illness.

The entire Killarney community was deeply affected by Niall’s passing and his closest friends Ryan O’Grady, Ruairí Doyle, Eoghan O’Sullivan, Evan Looney, Neil O’Shea, Emmett O’Shea, Mike Lenihan and Padraic Looney have decided to organise a fundraiser for Ward 2D, where Niall spent much of his time while in Cork University Hospital.

Next Thursday, December 5, St Brendan’s College, Killarney Community College, Presentation Monastery, and Holy Cross Mercy will participate in a Christmas Jumper day ‘A Gift for Niall’ with the total amount raised going towards the renovation of this ward.

This is the first time that these schools have engaged in a fundraiser of this manner – testament to Niall and the impact of his passing on Killarney town.

Niall’s friends, Ryan O’Grady and Eoghan O’Sullivan, two of the boys behind the event, explained that they are very grateful to the four schools and their willingness to participate in this event.

“It’s acknowledgement of Niall and the McGillicuddys and how highly thought of they are in the community and also of the incredible work of the staff of ward 2D in the CUH,” Ryan said.

“This day means so much to us and we really appreciate the efforts of everybody involved. Events like this will ensure that Niall will never be forgotten,” Eoghan added.

Teacher Elaine Moynihan said that Niall’s passing had a massive impact on the entire Killarney community.

“The objective of this day is, not only to celebrate this fantastic young man, but also to raise as much money as possible for this worthy ward. Niall’s friends would therefore like to invite anyone within the wider community who would like to make a donation to do so. All donations, big or small, will be gratefully accepted and can be dropped into St Brendan’s College over the next week.”

Niall’s closest friends will travel to Cork in the New Year to present a cheque for the total amount raised to the ward when a picture and plaque, acknowledging  Niall and his memory, will be erected in his honour.