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‘Record’ hunt turnout for bereavement charity

Margaret and Orla Meehan from Newmarket arrive in Quin for the Charity Horse Ride in aid of the Clare Suicide Bereavement Support Group at the weekend. Photograph by Declan MonaghanA ‘record’ number of riders and members of the public turned out for a charity ride organised by the Clare Hunt in aid of Clare Suicide Bereavement Support, which took place on Sunday in Quin.
“This is definitely a record for any charity ride we have done. I expect about 130 or 120 normally but we had 275 riders. It was incredible. If there was a Guinness Book of Records for it we would have been there. We faxed hunts from Galway and Limerick and we thought we might have a representative or two from them but we had representatives from every hunt, with up to eight or 10 riders from each,” said Pat Hannon, PRO with The Clare Hunt.
The charity ride followed a route from Quin to Doora cross-country and back via Castlefergus. Pat explained they chose Clare Suicide Bereavement Support, as there had been a number of hunt members who had been bereaved by suicide.
“There is no club or parish that hasn’t been affected by it,” he said and added it was hoped the event would help get the local charity’s name out there. “People weren’t aware that the charity was there and as the thing moved on, it ricocheted and took on a life of its own. When we moved out from Quin to Doora Church cross-country, family members who were bereaved followed behind us on foot and replaced any stones that were knocked or any loose divots. I’d say there were up to 30 overall on foot.
“We went from Quin to Doora and back around by Castlefergus and back to Ballykilty. We did about 10 miles in total and amateur people could come, as jumping was optional. The turnout was unbelievable. I’ve never witnessed anything like it before. There was a mother and daughter that came down from Birr for it because it was optional to jump and I couldn’t believe they drove so far,” Pat said.
He added that the ride would not have been possible without the help of Eva Considine, Dearbhla Hassett and Cyril McMahon.
Clare Suicide Bereavement Support is a group of trained, non-professional volunteers who befriend and support individuals, families and communities bereaved by suicide. The support the group offers is completely confidential and free of charge.
They offer a number of different supports including one-to-one befriending at home or at an agreed location, family support, a healing programme, which is an eight-week series of meetings, as well as a monthly support meeting.
A meeting is held on the first Wednesday of every month, where there is a chance for the bereaved to support each other in coming to terms with what has happened.
Contact can be made with Clare Suicide Bereavement Support by telephone or text on 086 0565373 or 087 3698315. More information is available at www.Claresuicidebereavementsupport.com.
A mass will be held in Quin followed by a presentation of the funds raised to Clare Suicide Bereavement Support at Quin Community Hall at a date to be decided in two or three weeks.
“We were all very pleased with the turnout. We would like to acknowledge all the  support we got from the people who organised it; the land owners who allowed the hunt to go through their land and anyone who supported it,” a Clare Suicide Bereavement Support spokesperson concluded.


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