£16,500: Newry community rallies in support of Kevin Bell Repatriation Run
The second in a series of fundraising nights in memory of the late Kevin Bell was a huge success, with a further £16,500 being raised tonight at a Repatriation Run in Newry’s Greenbank estate.
Tonight’s event comes less than 48 hours after crowds packed into Canal Court’s Granary Bar for a quiz night in memory of the 26 year old Killeavy man, which raised a staggering £42,000.
A beautiful evening saw people from across the district comeout in huge numbers in support of the family and friends of Kevin Bell, who tragically lost his life in New York last weekend.
One of the highlights of the night was a group of Kevin’s best friends arriving in butcher hats courtesy of Kevin’s old employer, William Baird Butchers in Newry.
One friend, Niall Duffy, addressed the crowd and asked for an applause in memory of Kevin, a fitting tribute to the former butcher.
According to the organisers of tonight’s run, an impressive 1000 took to the roads tonight in support of the Bell family and friends and a further 5000 people packed into the Canal Court several days ago.
Grace O’Reilly, Kevin’s friend and one of the organisers involved in both events, said that after the phenomenal success of Tuesday night at the Canal Court they were unsure what to expect.
Grace explained, “Tonight’s event involed a wider circle of organisers. Special thanks has to go to Deborah Loughran, Paddy Duffy and Nicola McCamley. It was lovely to see faces of all ages turn out and by 7pm the gates of Pairc Esler were jammed.
Hailing the unwavering support from the local community, Grace continued, “It’s difficult to put into words, but people are just amazing. Simple as.
She added, “Kevin’s death has brought not just Newry but the surrounding areas of South Armagh and North Down together. Tonight again is a direct reflection of the impact Kevin had in his short time here.”
SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley praised the local community for coming together in what has been an extremely sad week.
“Tonight’s 10 and 5k runs and walk was another example of this area’s amazing response to what is an excellent cause. As Kevin’s fund increases there is the assurance that help and support will be there for other families who are faced with the sudden death of a loved one overseas.
He added, “That knowledge will be a consolation to Kevin’s family at this very sad time. I salute all those who organised and participated in tonight’s event – well done one and all.”
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