Youghal Man Raises over €1300 For Let’s Get Together Charity

By Jordan McCarthy

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A Youghal man has raised over €1300, for a suicide prevention charity in East Cork.
Nigel Kirby’s Christmas lights appeal, which saw his home on Dermot Hurley Estate become a festive attraction, raised a total of €1302, for the Let’s Get Together Foundation. The Kirby’s house and garden, which were decorated with over 50,000 individual bulbs, welcomed hundreds of visitors over the festive period. Since the lights were officially switched on, by Love/Hate actor John Connors, back on the 1 December, droves of people travelled from Cork and further afield, to catch a glimpse of the winter wonderland and to donate to a very worthy cause.
The Midleton-based Let’s Get Together Foundation is a suicide prevention charity, which caters for the people of East Cork. It was founded back in 2004 by Pat Buckley, Sinn Fein TD and spokesperson on mental health. A non-profitable organisation, it is funded by the goodwill of the general public, local businesses and fundraisers such as Nigel’s annual Christmas appeal – which was again well-received this year.
Speaking to the East Cork Journal this week, Nigel said; ‘‘look, the weather was bad at times, and people haven’t got the money to be giving these days, so it’s €1,302 that the charity didn’t have. The charity helps families who can’t cope with a bereavement. They can get them counselling straightaway, instead of waiting months to go through the HSE. This was our third year doing this for the Let’s Get Together Foundation. Suicide affects so many people. On my wife’s side of the family, she lost loved ones due to suicide. Pat (Buckley) lost two brothers to suicide. We decided that this Christmas lights appeal was something we’d like to do.
‘‘We have had a lot of publicity this year. We’ve had a lot more people come from further afield too – they have come down from Kildare and Galway just to have a look at the lights.’’
Asked if he would continue the annual Christmas appeal next December, Nigel said; ‘‘I don’t know. It really took it out of me this year! I got sick when I was putting up the lights. It took me a month to get better. I still feel tired. I have put the lights away nice and neat. So, everything should be working when I take the lights out next. Maybe when the summer comes around and I start to feel a lot better, I’ll start planning to go ahead with it.’’
For more information on the Let’s Get Together Foundation, visit the group’s Facebook page; Let’s Get Together Foundation Suicide Prevention.

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