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Castlebar foursome aim to reclaim hugging world record


RECORD ATTEMPTCastlebar men, from left: Nicky Kearney, Stephen Rattigan, Robert Tuomey and Brian Cawley will attempt to reclaim their world record for the longest group hug.

Lúcás Treacy

CASTLEBAR natives, Stephen Rattigan, Brian Cawley, Nicky Kearney and Robert Tuomey are coming together to attempt to win back their Guinness World Record for the longest group hug. The lads previously broke the world record on October 28, 2017 with a time of 26 hours and 44 seconds, but the record has since been broken by three Japanese men in Shinjuku, Tokyo last year with a time of 26 hours, 15 minutes and 17 seconds. Now that their record has been broken, they have decided to attempt to break the record again, raising even more money for charity this time around.
“Originally in 2017, when we were in the process of choosing a world record to break, we decided on world’s largest group hug because there’s a funny element to it. The idea of four grown men standing in a circle hugging each other for over 26 hours is quite funny and is something that would attract a bit of attention,” Stephan Rattigan told The Mayo News.
This time around, the four lads will attempt to break the record, aiming for a 30 hour long hug, which will begin at 11am on Saturday, May 4. It’ll be taking place under a marquee in Market Square in Castlebar and it’s in association with Mayo Day, which is also on May 4.
“The two chosen charities for this world record attempt are Pieta House and Western Care. We chose both these charitable organisations because of all the work they do locally within the county,” added Stephen.

Rules and regulations
With this being a Guinness World Record attempt, there are a few rules and regulations in order to successfully achieve the new record.
“We must stand in a circle linked without breaking the circle at any point. For every hour we complete, we earn a five minute rest period which we can use to go to the bathroom, get a quick drink and something to eat before returning to the hug.”
To keep themselves entertained during the world record attempt, a good friend of the group and musician Conor Ward will be performing live on the Saturday night in Market Square. “He has generously offered to perform in support of the event, so we are hoping people can come along and have a listen. It’s going to be a lot tougher this time around as result of the decision to do it outside this year. Mentally it’s quite challenging when you consider the amount of time we have to stand there, but also physically as our muscles start to seize due to the fact that we are stationary in the same position for a prolonged period of time.
“The reason for this world record attempt is to raise as much money as we possibly can for the two charities. We have a target of €6,000 which we are hoping to exceed by the end of the event on Sunday. We hope as many people as possible will come along on both days and also if people want to witness us break the record, it’ll be at 5pm on Sunday, May 5 when we will stop the hug and there will be a big celebration,” concluded Stephen.

For more information, people can check out the Facebook page: The Hug For Charity and donate at money at