Archbishop Martin to launch Limavady camp

Archbishop Eamon Martin.
Archbishop Eamon Martin.

The Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin will be in Limavady this summer to launch a faith-based summer camp that attracts hundreds of youngsters each year.

The HOPE (Help Our Parish Evolve) camp started in 2013 and attracts more young people than it can accommodate. It’s become so popular within a day of registration opening, all 300 places are snapped up.

Organiser, Leo McCloskey, said they’ve had to place new restrictions on criteria for registration each year because of the demand, with youngsters coming from many different parishes.

“I think we have to be the largest parish camp of its kind in Ireland,” said Mr. McCloskey.

In past years, Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown has launched the event. He’ll be involved in activities again this year, however, Mr. McCloskey explained local curate, Fr. James Devine, asked the Archbishop when they met recently if he would do the honours this year.

“Fr. James said he jumped at the chance, that he was aware of HOPE and who we are,” said Mr. McCloskey, “and we’re delighted.”

When asked what’s the attraction to the camp, Mr. McCloskey said: “I think our hastag of ‘faith, fun and friendship’ sums it up.”

As well as being faith-based, camp participants get to try out “every sport under the sun,” according to Mr. McCloskey.

Online registration for the camp opens on Sunday night at 8pm at hopelimavady.org

Mr. McCloskey thanked Piotr Zietela for creating the website, who he said wanted to give something back after his daughter participated in HOPE.