Statement on the passing of Patrick Quinn, co-founder of the ALS/MND Ice Bucket Challenge - IMNDA

Statement on the passing of Patrick Quinn, co-founder of the ALS/MND Ice Bucket Challenge

November 23rd, 2020

The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) is truly saddened to hear of the passing of Patrick Quinn. The IMNDA wish to offer it’s condolences to Pat’s family, friends and relatives. Pat was a true inspiration for the entire MND Community and our thoughts are with his loved ones at this very sad time.

Patrick was one of the co-founders of the ALS/MND Ice Bucket Challenge. The ALS/MND Ice Bucket Challenge started with a professional golfer named Chris Kennedy, who challenged his sister, Jeanette Senerchia in Pelham, New York. Jeanette’s husband Anthony was living with ALS. Through Facebook, one of her friends was connected to Pat Quinn in Yonkers, New York, who was connected to Pete Frates in Boston, Massachusetts. Pat and Pete were both young men battling the disease and their social networks blasted the ALS/MND Ice Bucket Challenge out across America and even the globe.

Here is a message from Pat Quinn, talking about the success of the Ice Bucket Challenge:

The whole idea behind dumping a bucket of ice on you was to freeze your whole body for a second to raise awareness about how the disease actually affects people. Even though it is for a split second it still gives the person some perspective on how an MND victim feels every day. MND can take your breath away and prevent you from moving – just like the shock of ice water to the body. Also the burn from ice cold water is similar to the pain associated with the fasciculation of MND patient’s muscles.

The Ice Bucket Challenge raised over €1.7 million in Ireland alone. For this we will be eternally grateful to Patrick Quinn, and all who participated in this phenomenon. He changed the course of history for this underfunded disease and his legacy will continue to support hundreds of people living with MND in Ireland. May he Rest in Peace.

For more information please contact:

Maeve Leahy, PR & Communications Executive 01-8730422 or email


Notes to Editor

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.

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. 1 person dies every 3 days from MND.


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