Connacht's JP Cooney, Ronan Loughney and Dave Heffernan with members of Dunmore RFC and Joe Burke, Pieta House.
The ‘Push4Pieta’ event will see Dunmore RFC push their scrum machine over 33km, from outside the Pieta house building in Tuam to the Sportsground, ahead of Connacht’s PRO12 game with Leinster on April 15.
Teams of pushers will take it in turns to push the hefty machine down the N17 before a quick lap of Eyre Square and Shop Street and one final push into the Sportsground.
Along with raising much needed awareness and funds for Pieta House, the event is also part of Dunmore RFC’s continued drive to build playing numbers at the club and fundraise.
It will be a very difficult challenge but Dunmore RFC President Jimmy Coen is delighted the club have spearheaded such an initiative.
“We are very grateful to Pieta House and Connacht Rugby for supporting this unique event on April 15,” said Coen.
“We have set ourselves a huge challenge of pushing our scrum machine for Pieta along the N17 and into Galway City. This event will generate great local and national coverage in the community for both Pieta House West and Dunmore RFC. We hope that the awareness we raise will filter down to all within the rugby community and beyond. The funds raised will go towards supporting and maintaining the fantastic work which Pieta are involved in, along with driving the ambitions and growth of Dunmore Rugby Club.”
This is the second season that Connacht Rugby have worked with Pieta House and the province hope to make a real difference in helping the charity raise awareness around self-harm and suicide in Ireland.
Eric Elwood, Connacht Domestic Rugby Manager, was full of praise for Dunmore RFC in their efforts to help the charity and promote the club.
“It’s a novel initiative by Dunmore RFC and they deserve great credit for it,” said Elwood.
“A huge amount of time and effort goes into organising an event like this and, more importantly, there is going to be a hell of a lot of effort involved in pushing that scrum machine!
“Pieta House, a charity partner of ours, are really important to us and we understand the importance of promoting positive mental health. Working to help young people to better manage their mental health is very relevant in the world that we live in and it’s something that we take very seriously.
“Pieta House are a charity very close to our hearts and we are glad to be involved with such an important organisation.
“We will support them in any way we can and it is very encouraging to see Dunmore RFC row in and support the cause with this unique challenge.
“Dunmore RFC should be applauded for driving this initiative and it is heartening to see our clubs getting in and promoting a worthy charity like this in their area.
“It will be a great occasion when they reach the Sportsground for the big Guinness PRO12 clash with Leinster. There will be a full house at the match and I’m sure the supporters will give everyone at Dunmore RFC a fantastic reception.”
In an effort to get other clubs involved, Dunmore RFC have also incorporated a ‘Push4Pieta’ challenge for teams across the country. Any challenge, big or small, can be completed with clubs encouraged to record the task, post it to the Dunmore RFC Facebook or Twitter page using the hashtag #DunmoreRFCPush4Pieta, and make a donation via text or online.
About Pieta House
Pieta House was founded in 2006 by Joan Freeman and offers counselling to those suffering from suicidal ideation, those who have been bereaved by suicide, and people who are engaging in self-harm. Everything is free of charge and all staff are fully qualified and provide a professional one-to-one therapeutic service. A doctor’s referral or a psychiatric report is not required.
Pieta House West in Tuam provides the service for individuals across the western region. In the bereavement centres, Pieta provides counselling, therapy, and support to individuals, couples, families, and children who have been bereaved by suicide.
All of the services can also be accessed by phoning the free 24-hour suicide helpline, 1800 247 247.
The Galway Suicide Bereavement Centre is located at 13 Dun Daingean, Newcastle. Phone: 091 502 921. For more information, visit www.pieta.ie.
The Pieta House Suicide Bereavement Liaison Officer for Co Galway is Pauline Cahillane. She can be reached by email (email@example.com) and phone (085 856 8082).
You can donate by texting ‘Push4’ to 50300 (ROI mobiles only, texts cost €4 - Pieta House and Dunmore RFC will receive a minimum of €3.25.)
You can also give money via the online donation page here.
Dunmore's Martin Welsh, Callum Golden and Andrew Doherty; Joe Burke, Pieta House; and Connacht's JP Cooney, Ronan Loughney and Dave Heffernan.