Bragging rights will be up for the taking in Midleton next month when the 1997 World Snooker Champion, Ken Doherty, will take on All Ireland Champions during a tournament in aid of 22q11 Ireland Deletion Syndrome.
During the event at the Midleton Park Hotel on Wednesday 16 May, ‘the Darling of Dublin’ will compete against Irish Champions, Brendan O’Donoghue and Sean O’Connell-Walsh the All Ireland under 14 Champion.
Snooker enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet and greet the Snooker legend and have their photograph taken with Ken.
Tickets are available from Cummins Sports, 41 Main Street Midleton or fromTicketstop.ie
Tickets are priced at €40 for VIP Meet and Greet, including finger food and front row reserved seating, with the standard booking fee €20.
There will be a raffle and charity auction on the night with proceeds going directly to 22q11 Ireland.
Also known as Digeorge Syndrome or Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome, this genetic condition is responsible for the missing part of the 22nd Chromosome.
‘22q11 Ireland’ support over 160 families with the Syndrome, including the Leahy Greasley’s from Cobh, and help fund research into the disorder.
The group also hold an annual Conference where International 22q11 experts inform parents of the most update treatments available.
One in 4,000 people here are born with 22q11, which can cause heart defects and physical and learning disabilities, but awareness of the condition is low, with no government funding provided.
The disorder has one of the highest prevalence of developmental delay and congenital heart disease, second only to Down Syndrome.
Exhibition organiser, Kieran Walsh has, in the past, hosted similar Charity events in East Cork featuring big names in sport such as Steve Davis.
Mr Walsh said he was compelled to fundraise for22q11 Ireland when he discovered that a close friend of the family in Cobh suffered from the rare genetic syndrome.
Cobh teen, Courteney Leahy Geasley, faces a daily battle with the rare chromosomal condition, but is beating it with support. As an infant she had feeding problems and as she got older she had developmental delays.
Courteney, now 18, spent the first four months of her life in Crumlin Children’s Hospital and a further five months in Cork University Hospital.
Until recent years she was fed through her stomach because, as the issues were so severe, she couldn’t swallow her own saliva and had to be regularly suctioned.
Courteney was in constant pain from the site around the tube, which got sore from acid leaks which caused burning.
The Cobh teen also had to be monitored constantly as she regularly stopped breathing.
“They told me she would never walk, never talk, and never eat, but she is defying all the odds” Courteney’s mother, Sonya Leahy, tells the East Cork Journal.
Through 22q11Ireland, Courteney and her family received emotional support and access to 22q11 worldwide experts.
Charity Ambassador and Snooker Ace, Ken Doherty, spoke to the East Cork Journal ahead of next month’s event stating he’s excited to be playing in front of the East Cork fans.
“I’ve been to Cork many times. I’m looking forward to coming to Midleton and hopefully it will be a good night and will be well supported.”
Last Wednesday (18 April) the former World Champion missed out on a return to the Crucible, beaten by Welshman, Mathew Stephen 10-2 in the final qualifying round.
Doherty said that, while he’s disappointed with his performance, he plans on taking another shot at the World Championship again next year.
“I’m gutted. I’ve got one more year as tour wildcard, so I’ll give it one more spin. Matthew played too good, and I wish him the best of luck” crafty Ken tells the East Cork Journal.

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