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Sporting World add their Support to Trust Fund

Filed under: News/Events - Posted on Monday, February 7th, 2005 @ 12:27 pm

Cormac Trust Dinner ‘fantastic success – and very moving’ for Tyrone star’s family

THE Gala Dinner held by the Cormac Trust last Friday night raised an unbelievable total of £140,000, which Bridget McAnallen pledges will be used to continue to increase awareness of the rare heart condition which tragically killed her son last year.

Touched by the huge numbers attending the event – almost 700 – at Armagh City Hotel, she said that the evening proved to be a ‘fantastic success” and was evident of the generous nature of local people from both sporting and non-sporting backgrounds.

The Cormac Trust was set up in memory of the Tyrone GAA defender and as Bridget outlined, its main aims are to raise awareness of such heart conditions, promote screening in the province for detection of such problems, and to install defibrillators in GAA, rugby and soccer clubs in County Tyrone.

As well as the money raised from the table ticket sales alone, a number of organisations unable to attend the evening sent in warm donations nonetheless, and an oil portrait of Cormac was just one of the five items that went under the hammer at a special auction.

An Ireland International Rules jersey signed by all the players from the 2003 team, an autographed photograph of Muhammad Ali taken from his fight with Sonny Liston, a unique car registration TE 03 SAM, a montage of self-signed portraits of sporting personalities and a two 10 year All-Ireland Final tickets were also sold in the auction.

Tyrone county chairman Pat Darcy agreed that demand for the banquet, which was co-ordinated by Tyrone GAA fundraising organisation Club Tyrone, was nothing short of phenomenal.

He added: “We could have sold the tables twice over.”
The evening was graced with the presence of a number of special guests, from Adrian Logan acting as MC to Sean Kelly, president of the GAA, as well as Cormac’s parents Brendan and Bridget and a host of friends and family.

Patricia Treacy, Fiona Kelly, Micheal Coleman, Gerda McCannand the Mary Ronayne-Keane & Lanula Singers all provided a wonderful evening’s musical entertainment.


Mrs McAnallen said that the success of the event was “much bigger than anticipated.”
She commented: “It was very moving and a fantastic show of support from the community.

“There were various people from all sections and all aspects of the sporting world.

“Dungannon rugby player Jeremy Davidson, who has also played for Ulster, Ireland and the British Lions, was there, and he is a lovely person.

“There was such a big crowd there that my husband and I couldn’t even get to speak to everybody who came.”
Bridget revealed that Cormac’s death had been possibility attributed to LQT Syndrome, or Long Quiet Time Syndrome.

Such conditions can appear to have no symptoms, or those that are in existence, such as breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness and fainting are thought to be connected to other illnesses.
Said Bridget: “Like all other conditions, LQT syndrome may not be necessarily fatal, but can manifest itself in a split second.

‘A person may reach the age of 30 and not be affected, but suddenly it can strike.

“It often affects people in their teens and early twenties, and there is a suspicion that some cot deaths can be caused by heart conditions, but this is an element that hasn’t been properly looked into.

She went on: “We will be pushing ahead with our work and aiming to raise awareness of these heart conditions that that can kill young people – there are a lot of them and they are not well enough known about.

“Various people from the medical profession say that these illnesses are extremely rare, but the incidences are far greater than is being said.

“There is not enough focus, research done or information available. It is as if these cases don’t occur or they are irrelevant.

“I am just one parent who would have done anything to inform my son of the potential dangers of this condition. My son looked after himself very well and people who do this should not suddenly die.

“I am not saying your chances of survival should be less if you smoke etc, I just feel these conditions should not be written off as extremely rare when they might not be so rare.

“They are deemed ‘freak accidents’, and always considered a one off – it is as if nobody remembers that anyone has died from these incidents.”

You can make a donation to the Cormac Trust at an interim account at First Trust Bank, Omagh; Sort Code 93-81-30; Account No: 658 33406 ; Account Name: Coiste Chontae Thir Eoghain

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