National call to action for the sixth annual 10km ‘Run for Ollie’

Eoin McDevitt and Ciaran Murphy from RTE’s and Irish Times show Second Captains pictured at the launch of the Run for Ollie.

Eoin McDevitt and Ciaran Murphy from RTE’s and Irish Times show Second Captains pictured at the launch of the Run for Ollie.

Friends of Ollie are calling on all athletes, runners, and walkers to take part in this year’s 5th annual charity 10km ‘Run for Ollie’ taking place in Milltown, Galway, on Saturday June 13 in aid of Ollie Burke.

The event is organised every year by Ollie’s friends in order to pay for his daily medical care, and it promises to be a fun filled day for all involved. 

With more than 600 people taking part, including professional athletes, triathlon participants, and walkers taking part in last year’s race, Ollie’s friends are hoping to improve on those numbers for this year’s event. 

Ollie Burke, a 38 year old former GAA player, fell from a ladder while carrying out electrical work in 2007. He suffered severe head injuries which resulted in an acquired brain injury. Ollie spent six months in hospital and has required 24 hour care ever since. Every penny from the run will go towards funding the much needed care and rehabilitation Ollie requires.

Speaking about the event, Ollie’s friend Gerard Bowens said: “The last five years have been so successful and there has been an unbelievable atmosphere with hundreds of competitors coming to Milltown for the run. Even though we are just a group of friends and not professional event organisers, our previous five events have shown that we run a truly well organised and professional event. 

“Unfortunately, there was no insurance in place to fund Ollie’s care, so we need to raise money to look after him. He needs 24 hour supervision and has difficulty doing ordinary tasks. He recognises his family but cannot communicate how he feels. Ollie is blind in one eye and has limited use of his left hand. He can walk, which is great, but is unable to leave the house unaccompanied. He has also developed serious epilepsy and is prone to seizures. It simply goes without saying that we, and Ollie’s family, need all the help we can get.”

Milltown’s own Ciarán Murphy, of RTE’s Second Captains, said of the upcoming event: “We are delighted and privileged to support this year’s ‘Run for Ollie’. There really is nothing better than a community standing up and providing for one of its own. For the past six years, the Friends of Ollie Committee has done some fantastic fundraising work. Ollie played Gaelic football for Milltown with my brothers for years. His accident touched us all, and any support people can give is much appreciated.”

All participants will receive a technical running t-shirt and medal. Everyone taking part will also be entered into a draw with many great prizes up for grabs. This year’s event is sponsored by Health West Pharmacy, Ballindine, County Mayo.   

This years run will take place at 3pm on June 13. Entry costs €30 per person. To register for this year’s event visit www.runireland.com People can also register at the Milltown community centre on Friday June 12 between 6pm and 9pm, and on June 13 from 11am to 2.30pm. To view the route map or make a donation visit www.friendsofollie.com

For more information contact Gerard Bowens on 086 3884005 or email [email protected]  

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