Mr and Mrs Santa return

Martin and Mary Gallagher pictured collecting for charity in Guildhall Square.
Martin and Mary Gallagher pictured collecting for charity in Guildhall Square.

This is the big hearted Derry couple who will begin their fourth vigil during Christmas week to raise funds for charity.

Martin and Mary Gallagher have taken up camp at the steps of the Guildhall where they will remain until Christmas eve.

They are raising money in memory of their son Christopher Gallagher who died of Malaria in 2006, aged 23, while travelling in South East Asia.

It was while his family and friends were waiting for his remains to return home, they got the idea to set up ‘The Christopher Gallagher memorial fund’ which they hoped would prevent any child from ever getting Malaria.

Martin Gallagher said: “Since the beginning of the Malaria Fund in 2006 we have helped over 7500 children under the age of 5 through the provision of basic health care.”

After their visit to Tanzania in 2009 to witness at first hand the impact of their fundraising efforts, Martin made the decision to take early retirement from nursing and become a full time volunteer for Children in Crossfire. This enabled the couple to focus more on the fund they began, to celebrate the life of their son.

Earlier this year Martin and Mary Gallagher received ‘The Transforming Lives Award’ at the International Development Awards Ceremony in Stormont. The awards celebrate the achievements of organisations and the people who make their work possible.

Founder & Director of Children in Crossfire, Richard Moore said, “Martin and Mary are a remarkable couple.

“I am totally inspired by the way in which they have not only dealt with the loss of their son but how they’ve managed to find the energy and determination to turn a tragic story into something very positive.”

The Gallagher’s vigil will continue until 24th December from 9am- 5.30pm each day. Go along and give them a donation this Christmas.