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Big Apple’s deep pockets helping Kilcrohane kids to swim

October 29th, 2021 5:50 PM

John O’Donoghue of the New York Friends of Ireland presenting a cheque for €15,000 to Annette Nicholas.

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BY BRIAN MOORE

A COMMUNITY group on the Sheep’s Head peninsula has received just over €12,000 in funding from The New York Friends of Ireland.

This charity has been donating money to the Kilcrohane community for over 20 years.

Local lady Annie McCarthy first organised swimming lessons and other water-based activities for children on the Sheep’s Head during Irish Water Safety Week, which created an opportunity for everyone, not only to learn how to swim, but to also get together socially.

Recently, John O’Donoghue, representing the New York Friends of Ireland, presented committee member Annette Nicholas with a cheque for €12,000 for the group.

‘We are incredibly grateful to John and to all the members of the New York Friends of Ireland group who have been supporting us for so many years now,’ Annette told The Southern Star.

‘This money will go towards providing swimming lessons for the pupils of all the national schools on the peninsula and will also enable us to fund events during Irish Water Safety Week in 2022.’

John O’Donoghue (80), a Vietnam war veteran, is one of the founding members of the New York Friends of Ireland. 

It’s a group dedicated to raising funds for Irish children.

‘We were founded back in the 1980s,’ he explained. ‘We’re all trade unionists of Irish descent, and we were looking for ways to help children in Ireland and this group in Kilcrohane was a perfect fit.’

‘It is very important to us that no one is excluded, and that’s certainly the case here in Kilcrohane, where all the kids get involved free of charge, with not only swimming lessons, but also kayaking and sailing lessons too.’

‘We’re delighted to help in any way we can with such a wonderfully inclusive community group,’ he added. 

John has been visiting the area for 10 years and he has another connection to the Sheep’s Head Peninsula as his daughter married a Kilcrohane man.

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