A LONG, golden era is about to end. For many years Liam Duggan’s moustache has been a constant presence in The Clare Champion office, but there are just weeks left for his colleagues, family and friends to enjoy its magnificence.
It has now been officially announced that the long serving accounts department manager will shave it off on December 8 as part of a Shave or Dye fundraiser for Down Syndrome Clare.
Indeed, if Liam raises over €2,500 he is set to dye his hair as well as removing the celebrated moustache.
Speaking this week Liam was unsure how long the moustache has been around for. “I couldn’t tell you to be quite honest, but it’s going back years. I have it over 25 years anyway.”
If the hair is also dyed, what colour has he in mind? “It won’t be pink anyway. If some people got their way it’d be multi coloured, I could be like Pogba! But it’s still to be decided.”.
Down Syndrome Clare have set up an “I Donate” account where people can donate online.
Liam has been involved in fundraising since 1998 when he completed his first Clare 250 Cycle raising funds to send Cancer patients to Lourdes.
He got involved after his daughter Sinead who was a Down Syndrome child was born in 1994 and went to Lourdes with the Clare 250 Pilgrimage in September 1996. Sadly, Sinead passed away in July 1997 due to a heart condition.
After his daughter’s passing, Liam decided to help raise funds so that Cancer patients could travel to Lourdes with the Clare 250 Pilgrimage. He was involved for 21 years and went to Lourdes as a helper and got great satisfaction seeing that Cancer patients who went to Lourdes benefitted from the fundraising efforts of all the cyclists and extended backup team and friends of the Clare 250 Cycle.
Last year, Liam and a group of friends completed a fundraising cycle from Malin Head to Mizen Head in memory of Susan O’Neill and Antoinette Pender raising over €60k for Cancer Care West, Galway and Slainte an Chlair.
He hopes to sign off on his charity fund raising by completing his final cycle in 2024 from Loop Head to Howth Head with Down Syndrome Clare again being the beneficiary.
Down Syndrome Clare is a voluntary organisation working to ensure people with Down Syndrome Clare have the supports they need to live life to the fullest. it currently has over 80 members and is always welcoming new ones.
It provides information to members and also runs social activities such as Early Years Playgroup, Adult Book Club, Zumba and parties. It also subsidises a variety of services for members, including but not limited to swimming lessons, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy and Horse- riding.
Down Syndrome can affect people in many different ways and to very different degrees. Intellectual, physical, and speech development are three areas that are universally affected and so people with down syndrome benefit greatly from a variety of therapies which help them, and their families learn the best ways to support their individual needs.
All Down Syndrome Clare’s funding comes from the trojan work of its members and supporters. It has big ambitions to expand and improve the services and information it provides while it is currently working on finding a property to serve as a base, setting up its own resource library for members, as well as developing a website.
It can be contacted by phone on 085 289 5478 on weekdays between 10am and 2pm.
Contact can also be made via email to the following addresses: Admin: email@example.com; Secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org; Treasurer: email@example.com.
To donate you can visit https://www.idonate.ie/event/liamdugganshaveordye
Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.