On Saturday 10th December, Galway’s biggest hurling stars will play the Niall Donohue Memorial Match in memory of the Kilbeacanty and Galway hurling star. The Leinster title winning team of 2012 will take on a 2017 All-Ireland winning selection at Kilbeacanty GAA Club.
Some of the most famous names in Galway hurling will be there, with funds raised going to support Jigsaw, the youth mental health charity, and Kilbeacanty GAA. The match will also be streamed online and will include expert panel for match analysis along with player interviews. Tickets for the match will be limited and are available on www.jigsaw.ie/hurlingforniall
“We are looking forward to playing in this memorial game to recognise our teammate and friend Niall Donohue. This game is also about raising awareness and funds to help meet the mental health challenges that affects many people in our families and communities”, said Tony Og Regan, spokesperson for the organising committee, and former county teammate of Niall.
Niall Donohue played for Kilbeacanty and Galway as a minor, under-21 and senior. In 2011, he won an under-21 All-Ireland before going onto win a senior Leinster title in 2012. Niall tragically died by suicide on 23rd of October 2013 at the age of 22.
His family, club, fellow players, hurling and county boards have organised the Niall Donohue Memorial Match to raise funds and awareness for Jigsaw, the youth mental health charity, and Niall’s own club Kilbeacanty GAA, in his memory.
Speaking at the launch of the Niall Donohue Memorial Match, Justin Fahey of Kilbeacanty GAA said, “We are very much looking forward to hosting the Niall Donohue Memorial Game in what will be a very special and poignant day for our club. It will be a great privilege to have Niall’s former Galway teammates from 2012 and the 2017 All-Ireland winning team play a game in his memory at our newly redeveloped grounds.
A core aim of this event is to raise awareness of mental health and suicide in young people. We are honoured to partner with the youth mental health charity Jigsaw which does invaluable work in communities to assist young people who may be struggling. Niall will never be forgotten in our club; he will always be our shining star and we will remember him at this special event on the 10th of December and we very much look forward to welcoming you all to Kilbeacanty”
Paul Bellew, Chairperson of Galway GAA said, “All in Galway GAA are proud to be involved in the Niall Donohue Memorial match on December 10th. I want to pay a special tribute to Justin Fahey and Kilbeacanty GAA Club, Niall’s family, and his teammates in coming together to initiate such a wonderful event that celebrates Niall’s memory. It is testament to his life, his legacy and the impact he continues to have in his club, community and across Galway GAA. The benefits of this occasion will make a significant contribution to mental health awareness and directly assist the provision of services for young people through Jigsaw, who we are delighted to be partnering with”
There will also be a series of activities taking place across the day at Kilbeacanty GAA Club and later that evening in McCarthy’s Bar, Kilbeacanty. These include an all-star panel discussion, monster auction, live music and much more. For more information, please visit www.jigsaw.ie/hurlingforniall
Speaking on behalf of Jigsaw, Justin McDermott said, “We are honoured to be a part of this wonderful match in memory of Niall. The commitment his family, club, county team-mates and the county board have shown in arranging this day reminds me of the commitment Niall always gave as a hurler. Thank you to everyone involved. Through this event you’re helping to support young people facing challenges with their mental health in Galway and across Ireland.”
If you have concerns about your own mental health, or a young person you know, the following organisations in Ireland offer help and support:
Jigsaw support young people aged 12 to 25, offering both online and in person mental health advice and support to young people, parents, and those who work with young people. Visit jigsaw.ie
50808 is a free text support service for moments when you are feeling overwhelmed or having thoughts of suicide and need support to get to a calmer place. Text HELLO to 50808 to start a conversation, any time – day or night.
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Michelle Healy, Public Relations Officer, Galway GAA.