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Clionas Foundation Christmas Gala - pictured above are Brendan Ring, Suzanne Jackson, Calvin Lan and Terry Ring. Clionas Foundation Christmas Gala - pictured above are Brendan Ring, Suzanne Jackson, Calvin Lan and Terry Ring.


Stars shine at Clionas Foundation Christmas Gala 2023 at The Marker Hotel in Dublin 



Clionas Foundation Christmas Gala – pictured above are Brendan Ring, Suzanne Jackson, Calvin Lan and Terry Ring.

Clionas Foundation Christmas Gala inaugural event was hosted by entrepreneur Suzanne Jackson

Muireann O'Connell  pictured with Tara Keane and Brendan and Terry Ring
Muireann O’Connell pictured with Tara Keane and Brendan and Terry Ring 

Entrepreneur and TV Presenter Suzanne Jackson hosted Cliona’s very first Christmas Gala Ball at The Marker hotel in Dublin. Clionas Foundation Christmas Gala was generously sponsored by Huawei which means that all profits went towards helping the families that Cliona’s offers support to.

Cliona’s is a national charity providing financial assistance directly to parents of children with life-limiting or chronic complex care needs across Ireland to help with the non-medical expenses related to caring for their child. Since 2008 the foundation has provided financial assistance to over 1300 families.

The foundation was set up by Brendan and Terry Ring, following the death of their daughter Cliona, from an inoperable brain tumour in 2006 aged 15. Over the years, as Cliona underwent numerous different hospital treatments, Brendan and Terry were struck by the number of families, facing enormous financial hardship, on the brink of financial free-fall, blindsided by non-medical expenses piling up. They saw at first-hand the enormous toll it took on these families, already struggling to cope with the nightmare of having a seriously ill child.




Many well known faces joined Suzanne at the Clionas Foundation Christmas Gala including Instagram Influencer Terrie McEvoy, Shane Burke, Audrey Hamilton and TV Presenter Muireann O’Connell. In attendance and offering her support to the event was Rose of Tralee, New York Rose, Roisin Wiley who is an ambassador for Cliona’s Foundation.   

The auctioneer on the night was comedian Alan Shortt who did a phenomenal job of raising much needed funds. There were some incredible auction items donated including a round of Golf with Limerick Senior Hurling Captain Declan Hannon at Adare Manor.      

Speaking of her reason for getting involved with Cliona’s again Suzanne said, “I was honoured to be asked to be an ambassador for Cliona’s Foundation. The foundation is a wonderful charity who provide financial support for families who are caring for a child with a life-limiting illness. I’m thrilled to have hosted. I am delighted that together we can support a worthy and meaningful cause and raise much needed awareness this Christmas.”

Suzanne Jackson hosting Cliona's Foundation inaugural Christmas Gala
Suzanne Jackson hosting Cliona’s Foundation Inaugural Black Tie Gala at The Marker Hotel

Speaking about the importance of fundraising events for the organisation, was Cliona’s Co-Founder and CEO Brendan Ring. “So many of these families experienced, and continue to experience, the significant non-medical costs of caring for a child with a life-limiting condition. We are incredibly grateful to Suzanne for her support again this year and her help in ensuring the gala’s success. We are also very grateful to the generous management of Huawei who have sponsored the gala. We need support more than ever, this year again, we have seen a 59% increase in applications from the same period last year.”    

A recent survey conducted by Cliona’s shows how families with sick children are often disproportionately affected by situations out of their control, such as rapidly increasing living costs. These are parents who are in a living nightmare and the last thing they should have to worry about are bills. Cliona’s survey found that in 70% of families, at least one parent must give up their jobs to care for their sick child leaving them struggling to cope. Studies have highlighted that a family will need between €10,000 and €15,000 a year to cover various non-medical costs while their child is ill.

Commenting on the event, Calvin Lan, CEO Huawei Ireland said: “Huawei is proud to support such a worthy cause and delighted that the Ball raised much needed funds for Cliona’s Foundation to help families throughout the country. It is important that big corporate organisations like Huawei get behind local charities because it really can make a difference.”

Cliona’s Foundation expects a record number of families will apply for financial assistance this year and will need to raise a minimum of €500,000 to meet these applications. To learn more and to help please visit or tune in to the two-part documentary “Ireland’s Forgotten Families” which is readily available on their website.

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.