independent

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Monamolin family raise almost €8k for bereavement charity

Jane and Barry Dempsey and family present their cheque to Fionnuala Sheehan of First Light
Jane and Barry Dempsey and family present their cheque to Fionnuala Sheehan of First Light

Simon Bourke

When three-year-old Ollie Dempsey died suddenly in January of last year his parents decided to set up a charity in his honour.

In the wake of the tragedy, Jane and Barry Dempsey, from Monamolin, founded 'Ollie's Mission' and set about raising funds for organisations close to their hearts.

And, given the circumstances, it was fitting that their first nominated charity was FirstLight, a body which provides free professional counselling support to families whose child has died suddenly.

Having decided to run this year's VHI Women's Mini Marathon, Jane and her sisters began organising a group event involving more than 40 family members, neighbours and friends. And the theme for their marathon effort was Paw Patrol, the toddler's favourite television programme.

The family eventually raised €7,900 for FirstLight and Jane was quick to highlight the efforts of all those involved. 'Barry and I are so grateful to our family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. The support was, and still is, truly amazing, even from strangers with their donations.

'We can't thank people enough, each and every one of one of our participants had an amazing day and are already speaking about next year's marathon,' she said.

Thanking the Dempseys for their donation, FirstLight CEO Fionnuala Sheehan said, 'FirstLight is truly humbled and grateful to have been selected by Barry and Jane for such an honour. We would like to sincerely thank the Dempseys, their family, friends, the Monamolin community and many others far and wide for their tremendous generosity.

'Ollie's legacy will be of great help to us in the months ahead with supporting so many other families throughout Ireland whose child has died suddenly.'

FirstLight (formerly Irish Sudden Infant Death Association) was established in 1976 by Eimear Berry who herself was a bereaved mother after her son Brendan died of SIDS in 1975. FirstLight provides crisis intervention and free professional counselling services throughout Ireland to bereaved parents and family members who have suddenly lost a child up to 18 years.

Wexford People

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