News Archives - IMNDA | Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association

GAA Stars Support Hurling For Hope fundraiser

GAA Stars Support Hurling For Hope fundraiser in aid of Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation & Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association 

 A group of friends, players, mentors and teammates from Ballyhaunis GAA Club in Mayo, have come together and organised a unique fundraising event to support two charities, the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation and the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Launched today at Croke Park, by Jacqui Hurley RTE Sport, Keith Higgins, former Mayo footballer and Tom Parsons CEO GPA, the Hurling for Hope fundraiser will also see Keith along with clubmates  “solo” a hurling ball from the Mayo Roscommon Hospice in Castlebar via Claremorris, Ballyhaunis and Castlerea and finish at the Mayo Roscommon Hospice in Roscommon, covering a distance of 100kms. The players will be joined by a myriad of current and past GAA players along the route. The event will take place over four days commencing on Wednesday 23rdMarch and finishing on Saturday 26th March.

CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation Martina Jennings said:

“We are so delighted that Frank Browne and the huge team involved have chosen us as one of the benefitting charities, for this unique and challenging fundraiser.  2021 saw the Foundation launch our specialist palliative care unit in Roscommon, the second unit to be launched in 3 years and this was made possible from incredible fundraisers just like Hurling For Hope. As we continue to fund palliative care services in our community and hospices we encourage everyone to get out and support this fantastic group along their journey and we are so grateful to all the organisers.”

Lillian McGovern, CEO of IMNDA said.

“Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association is delighted to be one of the chosen charities by the Hurling for Hope campaign. This imaginative event is going to create great awareness of Motor Neurone Disease in the major towns throughout Mayo and Roscommon. The services provided by the IMNDA will benefit greatly from this fundraiser and will allow us to deliver the vital services to families that have been affected by MND. We are a small organisation and we rely heavily on fundraising & donations from events like these. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in Hurling for Hope and wish them all the success with their fundraising endeavours.”

Jacqui Hurley, RTE Sport said.

“I’m delighted to be involved in this amazing fundraising initiative, supporting two  great charities. I think the last 2 years have shown us just how much events like this can lift community spirit. I’m sure the lads will knock a bit of craic out of the journey along the way too and I’m looking forward to following their progress.”

Keith Higgins. 4 Time All Star said.

“On behalf of the Hurling For Hope group, we are delighted to be undertaking this challenge on behalf of both the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation. Our aim is to raise awareness and some much needed funds for these two fantastic charities which are close to all our hearts.

We hope that as many people as possible can come out and support us along the journey and even solo a few miles.”


Twitter: @hurling4hope

Facebook: Hurling For Hope



For further information contact or 087 0515370

Climb with Charlie – Up-dates


‘We would like to thank everyone for their interest in Climb with Charlie on April 2nd next in aid of IMNDA and Pieta. As you can appreciate we have been inundated with queries and are currently working on all the details. We will have further information over the coming days to confirm arrangements for the climb. Watch this space!’

Climb With Charlie

On Saturday April 2nd, Charlie Bird will climb Croagh Patrick in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House.

Due to Charlie’s Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis, the climb will be an immense challenge but he is determined to do it to highlight the vast mountains so many people have to climb in their everyday lives due to severe illness, physical and mental.

The campaign is encouraging everyone to ‘Climb With Charlie’, meaning not just climbing physical mountains, but getting through all the serious challenges in their lives.

While Charlie and his close friends and family embark on their climb on the weekend of April 2nd, the campaign encourages everyone all over Ireland and indeed all over the world get behind his efforts and arrange their own climb in their local area, with all monies raised going to two really worthy charities.

People can donate to the campaign or find out more on All funds raised will go to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House.

Due to COVID restrictions, health & safety, and ongoing environmental works on Croagh Patrick, the campaign cannot facilitate large numbers of people on Croagh Patrick on April 2nd. Therefore, Charlie is encouraging people to climb in their local area, and to keep on climbing the mountains of their personal battles.



Charlie Bird pictured along Bray Promenade.
Pic Steve Humphreys
1st December 2017

For more information please contact:

Rory Sweeney                                                             Paul Allen

Paul Allen & Associates                                             Paul Allen & Associates

18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2                              18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

01 676 9575 / 086 897 6442                                    01 676 9575 / 087 257 5700


Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA)

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting.

MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. However, not all symptoms necessarily happen to everyone and it is unlikely they will all develop at the same time, or in any specific order.

MND strikes people of all ages and there is currently no cure for MND, symptoms can be managed to help you achieve the best possible quality of life.

The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) is the only organisation of its kind in this country. It was set up in May 1985 to provide care and support to people with Motor Neurone Disease, their carers, families and friends.

There are currently over 400 people living with MND in Ireland. MND is often referred to as the 1,000 day disease as most people die within 1,000 days of being diagnosed.

Our key services include:

  • Home visiting by our Four MND Nurse Specialists
  • Financial assistance towards home care
  • Providing specialist medical equipment free of charge to our clients
  • Assistance towards counselling
  • Supporting research into the causes and treatments of MND
  • Freefone Information support line for clients and families

The Association relies heavily on fundraising activities from our members and supporters. We need to raise over 80% of our overall income.  It costs approx. 2.4 million to run the Association each year. For more information or to make a donation, contact us on: 01 670 5942, email or visit our web-site:

For more information on IMNDA please contact:

Derbhla Wynne

PR & Communications Executive

01 670 5942 or


Closure for Christmas Period


The IMNDA office will be closed on Thursday 23rd December at 1pm and will reopen on Tuesday 4th January at 9am.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our families, carers, friends and supporters a very happy and peaceful Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.

100km Sydney Cycle for IMNDA!!


Stephen Attride & a group of friends cycled 100k from Sydney to Wollongong on the 20th of November to raise funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA). The group did this in memory of Stephen’s dad Mark Attride who sadly passed from MND in 2015. Mark was an avid cyclist and Stephen and his group of friends wanted to do this to keep Mark’s memory alive and to raise funds at the same time.

TEAM MEMBERS: Aaron Foley, Brendan Browne, Conor O’Regan, Cormac Walsh, Ciaran Moran, Christy Alwyard, Florence Doherty, James O’Regan, Joseph Kinahan, Kevin Lee, Kevin Walsh, Laura Brudell, Linda Lodge, Michael Byrne, Michael Carey, Michael Mc Weeney, Sarah Tierney, Sean Dalton, Sean Devaney, Shane Keane, SJ Cody, Stephen Attride, Tim Brosnan.

A massive thank you to everyone who took part in this memorial cycle to remember Mark as they raised a staggering €14,247!


Aughnamullen GAA Poker Fundraiser

Aughnamullen GAA held a poker fundraiser to support the IMNDA this year in memory of Sheila Ward and they raised €1,210. Thanks very much to them for your support!


Well done to Dervila O’Brien and Amy Pollmann who held a “Coldvember” fundraiser whereby they did a swim everyday in November to raise funds for IMNDA. They raised  a €1,000 for so thanks very much to them! Here they are pictured with all their friends who joined them throughout the month…

72 Year Old Mary Raises Over 6K from Abseil Event!!

We want to say a massive thank you to Mary Lynch who is 72 and did the abseil at the Generator Tower in Smithfield last Halloween along with her niece Julie!!

Mary is a veteran abseiler as she has taken on the abseil in the Croke Park too. Mary and Julie managed to get themselves plenty of press coverage from doing this event and they are pictured here presenting the cheque to our IMNDA Board Member Katie Hallissy.

We would like to say a massive thank you to Mary & her niece Julie for raising €6,336!! Well done ladies!!

Through My Eyes – Poetry by Vicky Keane


Début Poetry Collection by Irish Solicitor & Poet Offers Readers a Profound Insight into Motor Neuron Disease

Having just completed her LLM degree in UCD back in 2017, solicitor, devoted wife and loving mother Vicky McCarthy Keane received some crushing news; she had motor neuron disease (MND). MND is a terminal neurological condition that causes the patient’s muscles to gradually lose function.  While some poems in Vicky’s debut collection, poems like ‘The Day it Rained All Day’, capture her emotions on that fateful day of diagnosis, others point to future possibilities and hope. For people unfamiliar with MND, the collection will provide them with a profound insight into what it feels like to suffer from the condition.

Vicky’s language is visceral and profound, rich in symbolism, allegory and imagery, often drawing on the natural landscapes of Ireland. Many MND sufferers describe how the disease makes them feel ‘trapped’ in their bodies and locked in a battle with time, and nobody articulates this better than Vicky McCarthy Keane. Many of the poems hint at a battle with fate, richly imagined in the form of a journey, while others are dappled with light and hope, with the final poem ‘Sunset Over Fanore’ hinting at a paradise regained.

Vicky credits the great Irish writer John B Keane as the main inspiration behind her decision to take up writing after her diagnosis. Having watched a documentary where John B Keane’s son, Billy Keane, discovered an old copybook owned by his father, Vicky wrote her first poem. Since that day, she has written poetry regularly through the assistance of an eye-gaze computer. The computer is the inspiration behind the collection’s title, Through My Eyes.

Billy Keane, an early champion of Vicky’s work, remarks, ‘Vicky McCarthy Keane writes pure, tender, lucid poetry of the finest kind’. While award-winning writer and filmmaker Csilla Toldy has written, ‘Vicky McCarthy Keane’s poems celebrate love and life with a wistful gratitude only someone in her condition can know’.

The book is published by JM Editing & Literary Agency, a publishing consultancy based in Ireland. The collection is available in three editions, international paperback, deluxe edition with ‘French flaps’ available here and eBook. The international paperback and eBook is available through all major online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes And Noble, Kobo, Apple Books, Google Books and more . The deluxe edition is available in some Irish independent bookstores, Irish websites like, or directly from the publisher. If you would like to order a copy directly from the publisher, or you are interested in stocking Through My Eyes, please contact Jeremy Murphy of JM Agency at

Most importantly, Vicky McCarthy Keane has requested that all her proceeds from Through My Eyes be denoted to the Irish Motor Neurone Association, IMNDA.




Coping with Grief this Christmas

Coping with grief when everyone else is celebrating can be incredibly difficult. We share a few simple suggestions to help you cope during the festive season.

Put yourself first

If you want to cover your house in decorations and go full-on Christmas, that’s fine. If you don’t want a hint of glitter or tinsel and want to ignore the season entirely whenever possible, that’s fine too. Christmas is a time for kindness, so the main thing that you should try and remember is to be kind to yourself, whatever that entails. Being honest with family and friends is crucial, and explaining what you feel comfortable with at this time of year.

You may not feel like you want to celebrate on the day at all; sometimes taking yourself out of the situation is the best thing you can do. That said, participating and laughing and smiling are also fine – it’s okay to feel happy when you’re bereaved.

Find some structure

Try and stick to some sort of routine over the festive season, if possible. It’s all too easy without our normal patterns to guide us to forget to look after ourselves. Whether it’s walking your dog at the same time each day, calling a relative each evening or reading another chapter of a book, some sort of structure and sense of routine can be helpful.

Allow yourself to grieve

You shouldn’t feel that you have to hide your grief over the festive season and pretend that everything is okay. Reaching out to someone and talking about the person you’ve lost can be helpful, be that family or friends who can share memories of that person, or connecting with a counsellor. Sharing your feelings may help you to cope, and make the season a little more bearable.

Celebrate their life

You may want to start some new traditions to remember your loved ones, or incorporate the person that has died into the traditions you already have, as a special way to remember them.

You might want to continue to hang their stocking in their honour, or create a ‘memory box’ to put out, with special items that remind you of that person.

You might decide to have a Christmas wreath at home, or even a small tree with special decorations that celebrate the life of the person you’ve lost. Some people still lay a place at the table to remember their loved ones, or you could cook their favourite festive meal in their honour or light a candle in their memory.


If you need to get support on this, our services team at IMNDA can offer advice, information, resources and support to help you and your family. You can call us on Freefone 1800 403 403 (9.00am-5.00pm, Monday – Thursday 9.00am – 4.00pm, Friday) or email we also have an online chat here

32nd International Symposium on ALS/MND

The International Symposium is the biggest annual conference dedicated to ALS and MND research. Each year brings together researchers from around the world to share new understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and motor neurone disease.

This year’s event takes place between 7 – 10 December 2021. For more information on this event, please visit here

ALS/MND Connect is organised each year by the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations. It’s an open session which allows people living with ALS/MND and their caregivers to attend presentations by neurologists and researchers. This session is live-streamed on Facebook, so people with ALS/MND from around the world can attend and ask questions online.
This session  kicked off by Dr. Felipe Ocampo, Moderated by Dr. Nortina Shahrizaila, and this year’s panelists include Dr. Terry Heiman-Patterson, Prof. Orla Hardiman, and Dr. Angela Genge.
In case you missed it and want to catch up again you can view what went on here

Ballybofey Charity Soccer Match

The IMNDA would like to express an enormous thank you to everyone involved with a  Charity Soccer Match on Saturday 23rd October at the Finn Valley Centre in Ballybofey, Co Donegal between Blane Rovers and Border Celtic to raise money for MND and other local charities.  The amount of money raised was €10,000 euros and £14,000 sterling.  Four charities were donated to as follows: –

  1. MND Association NI – £10,000 sterling – Funds to be used for research to help get a cure
  2. Castlederg Terminally Ill Fund – £4,000 sterling
  3. Irish MND Association – €8,050 euros – Funds to be used for research to help get a cure
  4. Donegal Hospice – €2,000 euros

This is a truly monumental effort and we cannot thank you all enough, well done!!!

Included in the photo above from left to right is Bridget Mc Ginty (one of the event organiser’s and niece of Joe Gallen), Peadar Byrne (Border Celtic player), Bridie Mc Glinchey (sister of Joe Gallen), Joe Gallen (MND patient), Patricia & Margaret Murphy (IMNDA representatives), Kevin Gallen (Border Celtic Manager), and Siobhan Mc Glinchey (Niece of Joe Gallen).



Prize Home Kilkenny Raffle

Due to unforeseen circumstances the Prize Home Kilkenny House Raffle will not be going ahead on 17th December. All entrants have been notified. As stated in the terms and conditions – ‘in the event that the Competition is closed, a 70% cash prize for the amount of money taken during this competition raffle will be held’.

This draw took place on 17th November using a Google Random Generator and the prize money was won by John Flynn. Congratulations John!!

Thank you for your support. The raffle organisers and we, the IMNDA are disappointed that the outcome wasn’t what was hoped. A donation of €1,000 has been made to the IMNDA.


Facemasks for IMNDA

Cathy (Rushe) Mhlanga sadly lost her husband Jobby to MND earlier this year. In order to give back a little, she designed these festive facemasks and wants to donate the proceeds to the IMNDA. The masks are €5 each, if you would like to order and mask and help to support people with MND, please email thanks for your support!