Council Chairman Walks 66 Miles For Charities

Cllr Mark Murnin walks the length of the council area.

Chairman Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Mark Murnin keeping active in his 3 day Charity Walk taking him from Slieve Gullion to Downpatrick.

Councillor Mark Murnin Chairman of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, has completed the 66-mile walking challenge he set himself earlier this year and raised an estimated £12k for his three nominated charities.

The outgoing Chairman wanted to raise money for his chosen charities –  NI Air Ambulance; Newry Gateway and Glebe House – and proposed this innovative 3-day walk event earlier in the year.

Pupils from St. Colman’s Ballynahinch, St. Mary’s Aughlisnafin and Christ the King Drumaness joined Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin on Day 3 of his Walk for 3 Charities, Glebe House, Air Ambulance NI and Newry and District Gateway Club.

He said: “I’m very grateful to the Council staff who took this idea and made it happen – developing a fantastic programme across the three days with Life Adventure. We wanted to showcase the beauty of this district walking from Slieve Gullion to Delamont Park across the three days and it has been a fantastic experience for me.

“A number of local businesses have sponsored the event including ReGEN, Philips Fruit from Newry, other businesses and individuals who made personal donations and I’d like to thank them again for their support.

St. Joseph’s Primary School Bessbrook in fine form on Wednesday morning at Slieve Gullion joining Chairman Councillor Mark Murnin on the 1st day of his Charity Walk.

“I am especially delighted that so many schools took up the opportunity to walk #3milesfor£3 to support the initiative, and got active and made a donation to three very worthy charities. The Down Community Safety Partnership and the Councils Take 5 initiative also sponsored goodie bags and medals for all the participating children,” Mark added.

Across the three days, Chairman Mark Murnin was joined by 12 local schools some 400 children/teachers, representatives from all three charities, supporters, Council colleagues and the President of Newry Chamber of Commerce Paul Convery.

Pupils from St. Paul’s High School Bessbrook pose for a photo with Chairman Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Mark Murnin.

Chairman Murnin added: “I am delighted that, at present, our fundraising total is in excess of £12k for these important local charities.”

A final total is expected to be released next week.

Photos Of the walk on Down News Facebook Page.

The 3 day event culminated with a Party in the Park in Delamont Park with live music and family entertainment to greet the walkers as they completed their 66-mile Chairman’s Charity Walk challenge.

Representatives from the three charities were in Delamont Country Park to welcome Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin home safely. l-r Seamus Camplisson from Glebe House, Jim McDonnell and his daughter Caoimhe from Newry and District Gateway Club and Colleen Milligan Air Ambulance NI.

The Chairman’s Charities.

Air Ambulance Northern Ireland’s operational helicopter carries a crew comprising of pilot, doctor, and paramedic, 365 days of the year operating for twelve hours every day.  They attend some of the most traumatic medical incidents across the province and are dedicated to delivering the very best possible pre- hospital care, both at the scene and whilst transferring the patient to the most appropriate hospital for their specific injuries. What is not widely known is that AANI is a charity.  Each day costs in the region of £5,500 and £2m is needed each year to keep the air ambulance service operational.  They rely entirely on support from the public and local businesses.

Glebe House – Harmony Community Trust is a cross community organisation that promotes community relations and social inclusion.  Its main base is a sixteen-acre wildlife area at Kilclief, close to the shores of Strangford Lough, from which it delivers community relations, social inclusion and respite programmes on a year round basis.  They strive to enable all people to explore divisive barriers and to develop the self-confidence to build mutual respect, tolerance and trust through positive shared experiences.

The Gateway Club recognises the continuing role of people with learning disabilities in the community. The club help disabled people to become aware of the benefits of participating in an active lifestyle. They have lots of fun filled activities such as drama, art, music and sports facilitated by experienced staff and volunteers.

Johnny from Life Adventure walks with Newry Mourne and Down Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin, on Day 2 of his Charity Walk starting in Rostrevor village.