Headley’s Bridge Crib Fundraiser for Chemotherapy Day Centre

Thomas and Eileen O’Connor are appealing for donations at the annual Christmas Crib fundraiser for the Chemotherapy Day Ward at University Hospital Kerry. The crib is beside their home in Headley’s Bridge and will accept donations over the Christmas period. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Very early in the spring of this year, Thomas and Eileen O’Connor of Headley’s Bridge presented a cheque for €2,845 to the Chemotherapy Day Ward at University Hospital Kerry.

The cheque represented the total of the voluntary donations collected at the crib beside their house at ‘The Bridge’ over last Christmas.

€100 Total in 2012

That fine cheque was a far cry from the total of €100 they received when they first put up the crib there in 2012.

Then in 2013 they received a single donation of a cheque for €100, a shopping bag of coins which came to €33. Added to donations from locals and one from the teachers and children of Scoil Mhuire in the village, brought that year’s cheque to €700.

Increase in Donations

The increase in donations has been a feature of the bottom line with each passing year and consequently a bigger cheque for the nominated charity.

“This year again we’re donating what we collect here to the Chemotherapy Day Ward at University Hospital Kerry for the work they do with people and they need every bit of help they can get,” said Eileen – who considers herself a grateful and very lucky survivor of breast cancer.

It All Mounts Up

“I think that people are great for the way they stop and put money or cheques in the donations box beside the crib and we’re delighted with any donation people can afford to give – that’s how it all mounts up,” she said.

Looking at the crib, Thomas said they have added bits and pieces every year.

“We look forward to putting it up now every year and we have been greatly encouraged by neighbours and friends.

Straw from Christy Brosnan

“We got the straw for the floor of the crib from our neighbour Christy Brosnan and it has become a feature of the neighbourhood now.

“We’ll be calling you early in the new year to let people know what their donations came to for this Christmas.

“We’d like to wish all our neighbours, friends and donors a very happy Christmas and a healthy new year,” said Eileen and Thomas.

Christy’s Birthday

Incidentally, I was talking to Christy Brosnan while in Headley’s Bridge on Tuesday and while talking about the changes around the place like the disappearance of the old creamery the closure of the ‘new’ creamery and Cotter’s shop and petrol pumps not to mention the loss of people and the way of life.

Christy told me he was 81on the day and was waiting to collect his grandchildren from the school bus.

Birthday Wishes

The significance of the day didn’t escape his VIP passengers and he got birthday wishes and hugs and kisses as soon as they got in the car for the journey home.

Good luck to Eileen and Thomas with their crib collection and a belated happy birthday to their neighbour and gentleman, Christy Brosnan.