Three Tullamore men who were involved in the half marathon in aid of ALONE and Pieta Midlands, l-r: Dan Jaffray, John Brophy and Kevin Nicholson.

Tullamore group's running challenge in aid of ALONE and Pieta Midlands

Tullamore man John Brophy spearheaded a fund-raising half marathon in the run-up to Christmas for ALONE and Pieta Midlands.

Kevin Nicholson and Dan Jaffray from Tullamore were also among those involved and they received support from other parts of Offaly and all over the country - from places such as Waterford, Clare, Dublin and Belfast. Indeed, one could say it was something of a global effort as people now living in Canada and the United States of America also participated.

The idea, which was pitched by John Brophy to a group of friends, was to run 250km and raise €250 by Christmas over the course of 12 weeks.

The group set up a GoFundMe page whereby people can make donations.

The GoFundMe page can also be found by searching online for "250 for 250".

The group's fund-raising goal was €5000 which they have now exceeded more than twice over. At the time of writing, they have raised €10,690.

"It has been a tough year for everyone but especially those who suffer from loneliness or their mental health and this was a way raising money to support those people while also re-connecting friends who have not been able to see each other," said Kevin Nicholson.

ALONE provides services to older people who are homeless, socially isolated, living in deprivation or in crisis.

Pieta Midlands (part of the Pieta House network) provides free therapy to those engaging in self-harm, with suicidal ideation, or bereaved by suicide.

Those involved ran their half marathons separately due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The list of those taking part are as follows: Aidan Mealiffe, Ann Brophy, Brian Wade, Carol-Ann Doheny, Cian Farrelly, Dan Jaffray, Darren O'Neill, Deirbhile Leyden, Fiona Nohilly, John Brophy, John McAuliffe, Niall Pilkington, Niamh Staveley, Kevin Nicholson, Orla McManamly, Pascal Rowland, Robert Scanlon, Joe McDonnell, Sorcha Coleman, Steph Hyland, Steve McKenna, Steve Molloy.

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