Kilbeacanty prepares for Niall Donohue Memorial Match

Kilbeacanty Hurling Club have teamed up with mental health charity, Jigsaw, in order to commemorate former player Niall Donohue.

On Saturday, 10 December, a selection of Galway’s 2012 All-Ireland finalists will face a XV composed of 2017 Liam McCarthy winners. The match will take place at 1:30pm at Kilbeacanty’s newly renovated grounds. The proceeds will be split 50:50 between the club and Jigsaw.

Donohue, a 2012 Leinster title winner, tragically passed away in 2013, taking his own life at the age of 22. There has been a U-10 tournament in Kilbeacanty on an annual basis since his death, but this charity match will be the first of its kind.

Chairman Justin Fahey stressed the importance behind this fundraiser, as Donohue’s legacy continues in the region: “Kilbeacanty is such a small club. We don’t get that many Galway hurlers. Niall had such a great presence, both on and off the pitch.

“He is sadly missed by all in the community. Niall was an idol here, and he brought our club to a different level. It’s ten years since Galway won Leinster with Niall and he was a star that day.”

Fahy outlined the club’s close connections with Niall’s dad Francie, as well as his sister Orla and his brother Shane. The message behind Jigsaw resonates strongly with both the family and the club.

“As a club, we’re proud to partner with Jigsaw. They do absolutely trojan work. It’s so important to help people, in particular young people.

“If this awareness for this (event) only saves one person, then it’s well worth doing.”

Galway GAA County Chairman Paul Bellew commented: “All in Galway GAA are proud to be involved in the Niall Donohue Memorial match on 10 December 10.

“I want to pay a special tribute to Justin Fahey and Kilbeacanty GAA Club, Niall’s family and his teammates in coming together to initiate such a wonderful event that celebrates Niall’s memory.

“It is a testament to his life, his legacy and the impact he continues to have in his club, community and across Galway GAA. The benefits of this occasion will make a significant contribution to mental health awareness.

“This will directly assist the provision of services for young people through Jigsaw, who we are delighted to be partnering with.”

The Kilbeacanty club grounds promise to be in tip-top condition for the Niall Donohue commemorative match after a 10-year redevelopment programme. Tickets for the event are priced at €10 and are still available online.

Anyone who cannot attend the match but is still seeking to donate to the club and the charity can do so via the Jigsaw Hurling for Niall link.

More information is available on the Galway GAA website.

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