Coming of age for Annaghdown St Stephen’s Day ‘Turkey Walk’

Pictured at a reception in the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre to mark the naming of the Annaghdown Room (front row left to right) Croí Friends committee members, Marion Newell, Aine Melvin, Teresa Farragher, Peter Flaherty (back row) Barry McCann of Croí, consultant cardiologist Dr Jim Crowley, Mairead Monaghan of Croí Friends Annaghdown, and Neil Johnson, Croí.

Pictured at a reception in the Croí Heart & Stroke Centre to mark the naming of the Annaghdown Room (front row left to right) Croí Friends committee members, Marion Newell, Aine Melvin, Teresa Farragher, Peter Flaherty (back row) Barry McCann of Croí, consultant cardiologist Dr Jim Crowley, Mairead Monaghan of Croí Friends Annaghdown, and Neil Johnson, Croí.

To mark the launch of the 21st annual Annaghdown St Stephen’s Day ‘Turkey Walk’ Croí has named a room in its new heart and stroke centre as the ‘Annaghdown Room’ in recognition of the generosity the community has shown over the years.

For more than 20 years, the small but determined voluntary community in the community of Annaghdown has been organising the annual St Stephen’s Day sponsored walk in aid of local heart and stroke charity Croí. Preparations are currently under way for this year’s walk which will take place on December 26 departing from the community centre in Annaghdown at noon.

To date, the group has contributed almost €200,000 towards the fight against heart disease and stroke in the west of Ireland. The group was originally established by Annaghdown man Peter Flaherty who had to undergo a heart bypass in Dublin because there was no cardiac centre in the west of Ireland. Mr Flaherty joined the Croí campaign to bring cardiac surgery to Galway and together with a group of local people, he committed to an annual fundraiser which over the years has not only contributed to the heart surgery unit at Galway University Hospital, but also towards the provision of CPR and defibrillation training in the community, the purchase of cardiac equipment for the hospital, and supported the development of the heart and stroke centre in Newcastle, Galway.

The Annaghdown Room in the heart and stroke centre is used on a daily basis for CPR and AED training. The centre is an internationally affiliated and registered training site for CPR and defibrillation training – each year almost 1,000 people are trained in these lifesaving skills by Croí.

Speaking at the naming ceremony, Croí’s medical director, Dr Jim Crowley, consultant cardiologist, GUH said: “The naming of the Annaghdown Room is a fitting tribute to the outstanding contribution of the Croí Friends Committee in Annaghdown and district and to their community at large who year in and year out have tirelessly raised funds in support of Croí. Peter and his committee have to be congratulated for their dedicated voluntary community service over the years. The Annual Annaghdown St Stephen’s Day Turkey Walk is well established as a family fun walk and is the perfect way to kick start a health regime after the relaxation and festivities of Christmas.”

Walkers of all ages are invited to participate in the 10km walk. Refreshments are available on the route and at the community centre after the walk. To participate in this event, call Peter Flaherty on 086-2515263 or contact any of the Croí Friends Committee in Annaghdown.

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