The annual GOAL Mile event on St Stephen’s Day proved once agin to be a winner in the county.
Over the years, people have turned up at towns and villages throughout Louth to support this worthy cause and this year was no exception.
There was a large turnout at Bush and Ardee district and Athletic Club also organised an event.
Carmel Drumgoole from Dundalk who works at the GOAL head office in Dun Laoghaire, was expecting that the Ardee event would exceed last year’s € 158.000.
The organisers had been busy making calls, sending emails and issuing general reminders to people throughout the county before Christmas, urging them to get out and run, jog or walk the popular annual event this Christmas, and raise as much money for GOAL’s programmes for the poor.
A record 114 GOAL Miles took place throughout country this year, plus another six overseas in London, New York, Melbourne, Toronto, Abu Dhabi and The Golan Heights, making it a truly global event for the first time.
Some of Ireland’s current and former sporting stars, such as Jamie Heaslip, Ian Humphreys, Eamonn Coghlan and Sonia O’Sullivan have teamed up this year to boost participation, and introduce the event to an even wider audience.
Indeed, Coghlan and O’Sullivan have even gone a step further by holding their own Miles in Dublin and Melbourne.
Barry Andrews CEO of GOAL visited Dundalk earlier in the year to meet local people and asked them to continue to support the aid agency.
He expressed the hope that primary and secondary schools in Louth will continue to support the Jersey Day which was held in October and the GOAL Mile Run at Christmas. He also spoke about GOAL’s work in Syria. The agency is working in northern Syria providing for refugees from the civil war.
Two million people have already fled the country across the border into Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
“We carried out a needs assessment to see if it was safe to operate and if we could meet the needs,” said Barry. “We provide medical equipment, blankets, tents and food.”