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UPDATE: 235 Defence Forces soldiers take part in Regeneron Great Limerick Run in aid of Irish neonatal units

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Marching for the Maternities – 35 members of the Defence Forces wore full uniform and carried gear along the 21-kilometre route in aid of two Irish neonatal units.

Defence Forces soldiers took part in the half marathon to raise funds for neonatal units in Limerick and Dublin

By I Love Limerick correspondent Rachel Petticrew

 
marching for maternities inside

200 Defence Forces soldiers based in Lebanon marched the distance of the marathon in solidarity with their comrades back home.


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Participants and spectators of Sunday’s Regeneron Great Limerick Run may have noticed a sea of camouflage-clad soldiers competing in the May 1 half marathon.

35 members of the Defence Forces wore full uniform and carried gear along the 21-kilometre route in aid of Neonatal Intensive Care Units in University Maternity Hospital Limerick & Coombe Women & Infants Hospital, Dublin.

In addition, 200 Defence Forces soldiers based in Lebanon marched the distance in solidarity with their comrades back home. Over €26,000 was raised for the two neonatal units.

The idea to participate in the annual run came when two Limerick members of the Defence Forces, Lt Jonathan Hughes and Sgt Eddie O Brien, were told to return to Ireland due to their wives going into early labour. Both babies, Lt Hughes’ daughter Daisy and Sgt O Brien’s son Max, have now been discharged from hospital and are at home with their families.

Congratulation to all 235 members of the Defence Forces who took part in the half marathon for such a worthy cause. 

Donations to the Marching for Maternities fundraiser are still welcome and can be made HERE

Marching for the Maternities fundraiser at Great Limerick Run organised by Defence Forces (16/02/2022)

Marching for the Maternities

Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Tom Ruddle, Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers, Minister for Sport, Gaeltacht and Defence with Sgt Eddie O’Brien holding his newborn son Max and Ltf Johnathon Hughes. Picture: Keith Wiseman.

The Defence Forces have organised a Marching for the Maternities fundraiser and are taking part in the Regeneron Great Limerick Run 2022 to raise funds for Neonatal Intensive Care Units of the University Maternity Hospital Limerick and the Coombe Women and Infants Hospital. Lt Jonathan Hughes and Sgt Eddie O’Brien of the 12 Inf Bn and 119 Inf Bn respectively have organised the fundraiser and will march the Great Limerick Run alongside 30 other soldiers.

Lt Hughes and Sgt O’ Brien were serving with the 118 Inf Bn in Lebanon in 2021 when they received word that they had to be urgently repatriated. Both their partners went into early labour. Sgt O’Brien’s son Max was born at 28 weeks gestation weighing 2Lbs 7oz and Lt Hughes’s daughter Daisy was born at 23 weeks weighing 1Lb.

Sgt O’Brien’s son Max progressed through all levels of care in University Maternity Hospital Limerick over several weeks before returning home. Lt Hughes’ daughter Daisy was transferred to Coombe Women and Infants Hospital, facing difficulties such as Sepsis (twice), NEC bowel infection and emergency bowel surgery weighing just 745 grams. Daisy remains in hospital awaiting further bowel surgery, it is expected that she will be home in time for the Regeneron Great Limerick Run.

Regeneron Great Limerick Run is a mass participation sporting event held in Limerick. The inclusiveness of the event with three separate races has captured the attention of people across all social and demographic backgrounds. From the young to senior citizens, competitive athletes to occasional runners or walkers.

The run is now the fastest-growing participatory event in Ireland and will take place on Sunday, May 1, 2022. The Marathon and the Marathon Relay event will start at 9 am. The Half Marathon will start at 10:30 am and the 6 Mile will start at 12:30 pm.

The organisers of the Marching for the Maternities fundraiser expressed their gratefulness to the NICU of UMHL and the Coombe saying, “We cannot thank the staff in the NICU of UMHL and the Coombe enough for the kindness, care, and compassion shown to our families during this difficult period. We hope that organising this fundraiser will go some way to demonstrating our thanks.”

To donate to the Marching for the Maternities fundraiser go HERE

For more Fundraising stories go HERE

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 ilovelimerick.com 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.