We all need to hear good news from time to time. This is one to warm your heart. In recent months, the addition of a new physical link has forged new social connections between the communities of Lough Gur and Bruff. On 2nd April both communities united in a glorious walk to raise funds for charities on what was a bitterly cold but bright Saturday morning.
To start the day, over 60 walkers gathered at the lakefront in Lough Gur with a common purpose to walk in solidarity for the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association and Pieta House as part of the Climb with Charlie Bird initiatives taking place across Ireland. It can be said that this walk was an excellent way to raise awareness for both charities and a welcome opportunity to meet with friends and neighbours. The scheduled walk provided a safe environment to gather and catch up with friends, old and new.
At 10.45am on the button walkers arrived at Beechinor’s store at Holycross for a brief water stop and then made their way along the new link footpath to the start of the Slí na Sláinte for a brief photo at 10.50am to remember the day. The group of walkers set off again at pace to Bruff where they were welcomed by members of BGM Community Council, the Bruff Heritage Group and residents. A special note of thanks was made to sponsors of refreshments for walkers on the day that included Ishka, Nagles Eurospar, the Top Shop in Bruff and Bruff Credit Union. Walkers stayed a short while where smiles and banter were not in short supply before they returned back along the route to Lough Gur. The full 15km walk or c.17,000 steps took three hours including stops for chats with community members.
On the day Councillor Brigid Teefy was there to support the walkers and commented, “The communities of Lough Gur, Holycross and Bruff are to be commended for organising this event to raise funds for two very worthy causes. Many of the walkers that I have met here today have said that junction upgrade works have allowed them to enjoy regular walks from Bruff to Holycross. It is a great example of communities, local landowners and Council working together. Limerick City and County Council took on board and listened to what the communities and landowners asked for and by all accounts everyone is very pleased with the outcome so far. We look forward to further improvement works at this junction before the project is fully completed in May. The new upgrade works along the Slí na Sláinte have already commenced and will provide an improved surface for all walkers. Well done to all involved.”
Councillor PJ Carey was also in attendance and commented “This improved new walkway from Lough Gur to Bruff has many benefits that are clear to see in terms of road safety and accessibility for walkers. Another very important benefit of the Slí na Sláinte and junction upgrade works is improved physical and mental health for all who make the most of this new trail. Getting out and about, staying active, connecting with people in our communities are all ways to stay fit in every meaning of the word. It is a great boost to everyone here to be out in the fresh air and enjoying new and improved recreation amenities in this part of Limerick. Congratulations to the walk organisers for giving everyone a good opportunity to meet up, all in the name of two very good causes”
Ending the day on a positive note Manager for Lough Gur, Kate Harrold commented “The walk started out as an event to raise funds for charities. However, the day was full of great moments that included meeting many generous people who took time out of their day to take part in the walk or just to appear at stop points along the way and offer their very kind words of support. One walker said on the day, this event shows that a single act of kindness creates a rippling effect. This was obvious on the day as both communities united for common causes. To all the generous people who took part and offered kind words, on behalf of Lough Gur Development and BGM Community Council we thank all of you”.
Ticket sales and donations made on the day totaled €1,250 and will be donated to the Climb with Charlie charities of choice via their iDonate page.