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Sat, Jul
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Mayo Footballers join Westport fundraising walk

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WALKING THE WALK Westport and Mayo footballer Oisin McLaughlin is one of those taking part in the fundraising walk. Pic: Sportsfile

Oisin McGovern

A group from Westport will be joined by some of the Mayo GAA senior football panel for a walk this Saturday to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.
The group will walk 26 miles in a single day, while adhering to physical distancing, as part of their ‘Taking Steps To Combat Cancer’ fundraiser.         
The walk is being organised by Kenneth Chambers from Derrygorman, who has enlisted the help of 12 others to do the walk with him. The cause is close to the hearts of those involved, many of whom have lost loved one’s to cancer.
Chambers, who lost his own father Michael to cancer over two years ago, came up with the idea after the annual Daffodil Day fundraiser was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The group will leave Westport early in the morning and head 22 kilometres down the Greenway, towards Tiernaur, before heading back towards the town for the second half of the journey. A few members of the Mayo panel will also be joining them for the final leg of the journey.
They are expecting to arrive back in Westport between 3.30pm and 4pm where they will be met by Mayo County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr Brendan Mulroy, outside Westport Town Hall Theatre.
So far, over €7,000 has been raised for the cause via its Go Fund Me page.
One the participants, Marie Halpin, told The Mayo News that they are extremely satisfied by the public’s response to the fundraiser.
She said: “When we started out we said we’d set a target for €2,500 but in the last few weeks we’ve been blown away [by the generosity], especially at a time when there’s so many different fundraisers going on.”
Marie said the idea came when herself and a few others were out walking a number of months back.
She explained: “It started when Kenneth and a few of us were out walking and he mentioned that the Irish Cancer Society were asking the public to do a marathon in a month. Then one of the lads says ‘sure you could do that in a day’, and it took legs from there, if you’ll pardon the pun!”
The thirteen people taking part are Kenneth Chambers, Des Reidy, Fionnuala McLaughlin, Grace Kelly, Jo Nevin, Joe Ryan, Karina Hanley, Lillian Doyle, Marie Halpin, Megan O’Neill, Oisin McLaughlin, Roisin Carney and Shirley Moyles.

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To sponsor those taking part in the walk, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/20drg5yoao or simply search for ‘Taking Steps to Combat Cancer’ on the GoFundMe.com homepage.
Social distancing will be in place throughout the walk and when the contingent arrive back in Westport.