Fundraiser in memory of Aodhán O’Donnell under way

A 48-hour fundraiser in aid of Foyle Search and Rescue and in memory of a young Derry man who died suddenly is continuing today.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 10:07 am
Members of the O’Donnell family and friends pictured on Thursday last at the launch of the 48 Hour Prowler Challenge in memory of Aodhán O’Donnell and in aid of Foyle Search and Rescue at the Uturn Fitness centre, Whitehouse Road. Included in the photograph is Uturn Fitness proprietor Danny Glenn. DER2127GS – 022

The event, which was organised by the cousin of Aodhán O’Donnell, involves 48 teams pulling a ‘prowler’ continuously until 1pm tomorrow.

Aodhán was just 19-years-old when he died in 2018.

His family have held a number of fundraising events in memory of the talented hurler and just last year raised around £18,000 for Foyle Search and Rescue.

In the past, family and friends have also raised funds for the charity to purchase a brand new rescue vessel bearing Aodhán’s name.

The most recent fundraiser has been organised by Aodhán’s cousin and best friend, Conal Duffy. The event, which has raised almost £5,000 so far, started yesterday and will conclude on what would have been Aodhán’s 23rd birthday.

Conal, who is a personal trainer, decided to challenge people to pull a piece of gym equipment continuously over a 48 hour period.

The prowler is a heavy sled that can be pushed or pulled along the floor, either as it is or with additional weight added. The equipment is used to develop strength and power.

A different team, consisting of between four and six people, will take on the challenge every hour, with the first and last hour being done by a team including Conal and Aodhán’s parents Moira and Gerry.

“We have got a number of businesses to provide sponsorship and so far we have raised around £5,000. We have also asked anyone taking part in the challenge to share the fundraising link on social media with their own family and friends,” Conal said.

“I am a personal trainer and that is why I chose this particular challenge.”

Conal said he wanted to support FS&R because they were such a huge help to Aodhán’s family and friends.

“They were there throughout the search and helped so much when he passed and even after.”

Conal said it has been a tough year for everyone and he recognised that charities were not able to get the same level of donations.

“Every penny really counts and I am sure FS&R would be happy with the amount we have already raised through the sponsorship. It has been tough financially for so many people, but it would be great to get a bit more for FS&R.”

Conal said the event will also allow Aodhán’s family to mark his birthday and be together.