Padraig Kehoe’s 50th birthday charity event will be unforgettable

APRIL 30 will see a very special event in memory of the late Padraig Kehoe of Barnadown who took his own life 25 years ago.

arking what would have been his 50and anniversary, Padraig’s mother, Betty, and sister Aileen will walk 50,000 paces along a special route from Cahore to Barnadown, Gorey, Camolin and back through Courtown.

Aileen said the Kehoe family have been blown away by the support they have received so far, over €7,000 has been raised for Talk To Tom and Pieta House.

“Suicide has taken too many lives in Ireland and devastated families like ours and the way we would look at it is that every life lost to suicide is one too many.

“We want people to walk with us on April 30 and we can talk about mental health and the challenges it brings along the way. When my brother died I was 13 and didn’t even know what It was suicide, and now I understand that teenagers that age really struggle, which is just shocking.

“We want to honor Padraig on this day, but we know so many local people who are also affected by this and they are welcome to join us. I know Padraig, her and our late father Art will be so proud of this event and will walk every step with Betty and me as we move forward.

“I want people to be able to come out and have their say, and anyone who donates will be entered into our monster raffle because local businesses have been so generous and donated prizes for these two great causes.”

Aileen and her supporters swam in the sea to mark Padraig’s birthday, which was St. Patrick’s Day.

She said the group went for a walk over the weekend to prepare for the challenge, but it wouldn’t be a race but a trip.

“As this is a journey, it will represent those embarking on a mental health journey. I will do the first 8,000 steps myself to show how people with mental health issues should walk alone at first.

“The support from day one has been absolutely massive and when it started I was just doing it as a small thing, but I’ve been so surprised that so many people want to come on board and we’ve collected so much already. that I never thought it was impossible. People I don’t know have reached out to me wanting to be part of this and tell me their stories and we all know the last two years haven’t been great for a lot of people , so we let it be known that it’s okay to feel a certain way because there is help. I want to stay positive, but the likes of Talk To Tom and Pieta House represent the help that doesn’t probably wasn’t around in Padraig’s time.

“People from our past, such as Padraig’s close friends at UCD University, also got in touch to say they would be joining us and I haven’t seen many of them in years. “.

She said the support reminded her of how good people were when Padraig died in his twenties.

“There were 12 years between Padraig and me and our father passed three years after Padraig died. years.

“It’s great that so many people still remember him, but it also makes me emotional to know that he had so many great friends back then who were behind him. I was only 13 when he died. passed away and it was one of the first suicides that happened. It shocked the whole community, but everyone locally and Padraig’s friends stayed true to our family and supported us, which they do again now.

“Over time for me, there have been a lot of suicide losses in our community, even at work, my co-workers, and it kind of amazes me that this is still an issue. We want everyone know that people can get help now that wasn’t there before and spread the word,” she said.

You can follow Aileen’s journey on social media by searching “stepup_speakout_for_padraig” or you can donate at www.idonate.ie by searching for “Stepping it out for Padraigs 50th” or by contacting Aileen on 087 7462284.

Anyone who donates will be entered into a raffle that includes an overnight stay and dinner at the Monart Spa, a Seafield Hotel voucher and many other prizes.

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