Fire Brigade raise €5k for Down Syndrome charity

By Hayden Moore

DUBLIN Fire Brigade managed to raise almost €5,000 for Down Syndrome Carlow, a charity close to the late firefighter Adrian O’Grady.

Tallaght firefighter Derek Riordan forged a challenge coin, which was sold as part of the fundraiser, dedicated to the memory of the station officer for Tallaght Fire Station and this week, after a four-week fundraising drive, they donated money to the charity.

Tallagh FS Cheque 23 1

At a presentation of a cheque from Dublin Fire Brigade to Down Syndrome Carlow were firefighter Darren Donovan, Peter Navan; District Officer Dublin Fire Brigade, Helen O'Grady, Greg O'Dwyer; Asst Chief Fire Officer and firefighter Derek Riordan

“The challenge coin itself is dedicated to Aido and a tribute to CISM, who keep us on the straight and narrow, which is a product of Aido’s work,” Derek told The Echo.

“CISM work tirelessly to promote the mental health and wellbeing of all of our colleagues.

“The money raised then went to Down Syndrome Carlow, a charity that would have been close to Aido.

“Over the past year, their fundraising efforts have been severely curtailed and they are planning on the money going towards welcomed respite for families of Down syndrome in the area.”

O’Grady, who lived in Lucan with his wife Helen and three children, was a coordinator of the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team.

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Young Daniel wearing his Dublin Fire Brigade t-shirt

Adrian died suddenly in 2019 after 24 years of service with the fire brigade.

His nephew Daniel was born with Down Syndrome and since his “late-diagnoses”, the family have been supported by Down Syndrome Carlow to a great extent.

This week, the cheque worth €4,840 was presented to Helen O’Grady, after the efforts of firefighters Darren Donavon, Podge Thompson and Brian Doyle.

The crew behind the fundraiser managed to get their hands on a signed Leinster rugby jersey for the fundraiser as well.

“The reaction from Dublin Fire Brigade and the public was absolutely fantastic,” Mr Riordan continued.

“To be honest though without the help and cooperation of the DFB Sports and Social Club, this never would have got off the ground.

“A good friend of mine, Ken Purcell from MPL Print, printed out the big dummy cheque and gave us a dig out with the flyers as well and I can’t thank Chief Officer Dennis Keeley and Assistant Chief Officer Greg O’Dwyer enough for facilitating the fundraiser for us.”

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