Galway Corinthians RFC raise over €8,500 for Galway RNLI and Cancer Care West
What started as a small fundraiser for Galway RNLI and Cancer Care West has turned into something quite spectacular as the players and members of Galway Corinthians RFC have raised over €8,500 for both organisations through two fundraising efforts.
The first featured the senior players in the club with Jack Noone and Kenneth Casburn behind the organisation of “Movember” where players, management and committee members grew facial hair of some kind for the month of November.
The second featured the mercurial talents of Club President Kieran Faherty. Known fondly as “Flash”, Kieran is an accomplished artist and he generously provided one of his paintings known as “Brewing Up A Storm”. A “Stunning” view of Galway Bay that has proved very popular with prints and cards selling out in double-quick time.
Both organisations have been in the city for some time. The RNLI lifeboat station in Galway was established in 1997 due to an increasing number of search and rescue incidents and at the present time, is home to “Binny” a B class Atlantic lifeboat which is one of the fastest in the RNLI fleet. Galway Lifeboat are called out in all conditions and have been involved in many rescues, sometimes at the risk of the lives of the brave men and women who are called out.
Cancer Care West was established in 1993 as the Leukaemia Trust and in the past twenty seven years have supported thousands of people affected by cancer and they continue to expand their range of support services with the establishment of their Psycho-Oncology service and Patient and Family Support Programme and Support Services for Children opening their residential facility, Inis Aoibhinn, at University Hospital Galway in 2007 followed in 2009 with the opening of a dedicated Cancer Support Centre at Westside.
Kenneth Casburn, one of the organisers and Senior Team Manager, explained how the idea for Movember came about: 'After the first lock down, we started getting back into training with the focus of the games ahead.
'Unfortunately, there was uncertainty of the structure of the season and whether matches would proceed or not so we focused on the now and tried to lift the mood in the Squad. I came up with the idea of doing Movember and I spoke with JP Cooney, Michael Harding and Simon Gillespie (Senior Team Coaches) and Aaron Broderick (First Team Captain) and I mentioned it to them about the lads getting behind the idea.
'The two organisations I had in mind was Galway RNLI and Cancer Care West. The reasons for both was simple, Galway RNLI have been rescuing people throughout the year and the successful rescue operation of the two girls during the summer off Galway Bay lifted the spirits of people of people not only in Galway but nationwide during what has been a tough time for everyone.
'Everyone involved in Galway Corinthians RFC is familiar with the incredible work that is done by Cancer Care West. Our own head coach JP was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer and his courage and strength was an inspiration to everyone at the club from minis all the way to seniors. It was only right that they too would benefit from the funds that are raised.
The lads were behind it from the start so I spoke to Jack Noone who was instrumental in setting up the GoFundMe page and in pushing it from the start and it was his hard work that saw us raise the amount we did.'
Jack Noone did a lot of work in making sure everyone was behind the idea and he was quick to point out the team effort involved in making it a success.
'It was actually quite easy. A lot of the lads got involved immediately and while it took longer for some than others, they stuck with it and they deserve all the credit they get. In some cases, though, I have to say thank God for face masks! But seriously, they are all good sports and made a fantastic effort and that has to be applauded.
Without the contributions of those who donated there was no way we would have reached the figure. I want to say, on behalf of everyone who was involved with Movember, a huge amount of thanks to them all. That money is going to two amazing organisations who work hard all year round and it will be a boost to them as we head into the Christmas.'
The second part of the fundraising was just as spectacular as the first as prints and cards of Club President Kieran Faherty’s “Brewing Up A Storm” were sold with these proceeds also going to the RNLI.
Kieran (Known as Flash – A Name that was given to him due to his speed on the wing for Corinthians during his playing days),
The beautiful pieces of art went on sale during November and so far, have seen all the prints sold out with the cards at very limited numbers.
But what inspired the painting? 'I am often asked that. Pretty much my signature pieces are all about colour, and Connemara is my inspiration for many. As a kid I only saw greyness in the Connemara landscape, but age opens your eyes. Now I embrace all the wonderful changing coloured landscape that the mountains, bogs and lakes give up to us.
'My painting of Salthill’s iconic diving tower reminded me of the challenge it offered as a young kid” Kieran added. “There was the big challenge, to jump off the top diving board. I had many visits and nightmares as a ten year old before I closed my eyes and stepped out and took the plunge. It seemed to take twenty minutes before I crashed through the skin of Galway Bay and another twenty before I surfaced, like a cork from a champagne bottle. My less than elegant windmill stroke got me to the ladder. So, I think my inspiration for this piece is the challenges it offers, as it sits in stormy waters, and I think appropriately it is raising funds for a charity that lives in stormy waters with their incredible brave crew.'
The fundraising has been warmly welcomed by both organisations. Mike Swan, Galway RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'I wanted to express my personal gratitude for the effort of the members of Corinthians Rugby Club and thank them for their very generous donation, of which will be put to good use saving lives at sea. Given the year that's in it, the Crew are overwhelmed with the support from the people of Galway.'
It is a sentiment that has been echoed by Cancer Care West.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.