Donegal mountain climb raises thousands to help Roe Valley lads

Three Roe Valley women have raised more than £7,000 to buy life-changing equipment for two boys close to their hearts.

Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 7:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:03 pm
Some of those who climbed Mount Errigal in Donegal.
Some of those who climbed Mount Errigal in Donegal.

Laura O’Flaherty, Diane McLaughlin and Jolene Haslett took on Mount Errigal in Donegal to help Colm McGuinness (aged 28) and Jolene’s four-year-old son, Joe Haslett.

“It went really, really well. It was very tough and emotional, but great fun on the day,” said Laura, Colm’s sister.

“The weather was so bad; there was wind, rain and a lot of fog.

“Visibility was next to nothing on the mountain and everyone did so well to complete it.

“I think there were a lot of very determined people and we all knew we were doing it for the boys.”

Joe is from Limavady who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Dystonia and a number of other complex medical problems.

Colm is from Greysteel and resides in Ralph’s Close, a Western Trust residential care home. Colm suffers from Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy,and a number of other medical difficulties.

The women had set a target of raising £6,000 to buy a special bike for Joe and a swing set, and a jukebox and an enormous bubble tube for Colm and his fellow residents to avail of in Ralph’s Close.

On the day, despite the weather, said Laura, there were over 20 climbers, including friends and family members.

They raised more than £7,500, with donations still to come in.

“Joe’s two cousins deserve a big mention they were our youngest climbers and also did a dog walk to raise money for us,” said Laura.

“We organised the climb to raise money to purchase life changing equipment for Joe and Colm who both suffer from Cerebral Palsy.

“We have ordered the bubble tube, bike and jukebox and are really excited about seeing the boys wee faces when they see their new equipment.

“The boys go through so much every day of their lives and it is so amazing to be able to do something to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.”

Laura said once all the money is collected and equipment purchased for the boys they will be giving the rest of the funds raised to the Children’s Hospice N.I.

“They are an amazing organisation and do so much for so many families in N.Ireland,” said Laura.

Both families want to thank everyone who made a donation, and all those who participated in climbing Mount Errigal.

“A special thanks goes out to Diane who has done so much for us during all this,” said Laura.

“We could never have done it without all the amazing help and support.”

Laura added: “We look forward to being able to share some nice pictures of the boys with their new equipment once it all arrives so that everyone who helped and donated can see exactly the difference they have made to Joe and Colm’s lives.”