Carrigtwohill Juvenile GAA Club held its overnight puckathon Camán Till Dawn this past bank holiday weekend from the evening of Sunday, 4 June through to the morning of Monday, 5 June as part of a mental health awareness initiative that is being undertaken by the club for 2017.
The initiative stems from the fact three former members of the Juvenile Club have died by suicide during the last three years and all proceeds from the Camán Till Dawn will be donated to the Cork branch of Pieta House (Suicide & Self-Harm Crisis Centre).
The evening started with street leagues for the younger age groups and featured music, face-painting and a bouncy castle for further kids’ entertainment.
David Sullivan, Public Relations Officer for Carraig Óg welcomed everybody to the event and thanked the adult club for facilitating the running of the event with the use of the grounds for the evening. Pat Horgan, Chairman of the Juvenile Club, addressed those in attendance, followed by Michael Ahern, Chairman of the Adult Club. The guest speakers were former senior Cork football player Valerie Mulcahy and Carrigtwohill’s Niall McCarthy, along with Sam Fealy from Breaking The Silence in Cobh, Pat Duffy of Pieta House and Sara Cromwell, Joint-Public Relations Officer for Caring for Carrigtwohill, a newly formed mental health awareness group. Midleton and Cork senior hurler, Luke O’Farrell was also in attendance.
David Sullivan concluded with a special word of thanks to Pat Horgan, Kieran Brennan, Conor Ahern, Don Murnane, Pádraic Hogan and Jay Horgan for their assistance with organising the event. He also said that Carrigtwohill has had its highs and lows just like every community.
“We had the high of the 2011 senior county success and more recent lows,” said Mr Sullivan. “It is hoped that Camán Till Dawn will strengthen the community in such a way that we help our young people reach their highs in life and act as a safety net to catch them during their lows.”
At the end of the countdown, the puckathon was started at 9.45pm with Eddie O’Riordan, Club President, handing the sliotar to Niall McCarthy who took the first puck, followed by Fé 12 players, Daniel Nolan and Jamie Cotter, and then Valerie Mulcahy and Luke O’Farrell.
The event was a huge success, despite very heavy rainfall from two to three hours during the night. The Fé 13s, Fé 14s and the Camogie Club got the worst of the rain, yet they still turned out in great numbers. The rain may have dampened West End but it certainly did not dampen the high spirits of the 200 or so people who took part in the puckathon. Séamus Harnedy was very kind with his support of Camán Till Dawn. He came along as the pucking as underway, having played in Imokilly’s win over UCC in the senior hurling championship earlier that evening.
The puckathon reached its conclusion after just over seven and a half hours of pucking at 5.17am with the minor and adult hurlers in the ball alley.
Camán Till Dawn has been copyrighted and trademarked. It is hoped that clubs nationwide will run their own Camán Till Dawn and that the Carrigtwohill one will be the first of many. For a fee of €250 (which will be split evenly between Carrigtwohill GAA Club and Pieta House), a comprehensive pack will be provided in electronic format that will include details of running the event, promotional media (signage, flyer, poster, T-shirt, souvenir sliotar & bag design) etc.
All support for this event would be greatly appreciated. The organisers of Camán Till Dawn are hopeful of raising close to €10,000 for Pieta House. Donations can still be made on the fundraising website at www.gofundme.com/caman.