CORMAC MCANALLEN REMEMBERED AT GALA BANQUET
Over six hundred people packed into the Armagh City Hotel last Friday evening, 21 March, to reflect upon and further the legacy of the late Cormac McAnallen a decade after his death. The gala banquet, entitled ‘Comóradh Chormaic’, brought together many people who knew or admired Cormac and others who have been affected by the medical issues raised by his death.
Following a picture-loop telling the story of Cormac’s life, the Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh recited the poem, ‘The Beautiful Game’, as he had done ten years ago. The event went on to profile some of the various projects that commemorated Cormac. After dinner, the Campa Chormaic summer camps were showcased by spoken and video presentations, and a number of awards were made to key personnel.
The principal legacy project to be featured was the Cormac Trust, which was formally launched at the same venue nine years earlier. In his speech, the Chairman, Brendan McAnallen, outlined the work of the Trust in that time: raising awareness, promoting cardiac screening among young people, and presenting over 200 defibrillators to clubs, emergency services and communities. People whose lives had been saved by screening and defibrillators gave personal testimonies to the impact of the Trust and the importance of its work.
Defibrillators, provided courtesy of Heartsine and Cardiac Services, were also presented to St Patrick’s Grammar School, Armagh, where Cormac went to school; to St Catherine’s College, Armagh, where Cormac worked as a teacher; and to St Joseph’s Grammar School, Donaghmore, where the second week of Campa Chormaic will take place this year. A further defibrillator was presented to the Eglish GAA club, to be installed at the new Páirc Chormaic ground. A series of awards were then presented to some of the major fundraisers for the Cormac Trust, as well as to trustees and other long-term servants of the Trust.
Looking to the future, Prof. Peter Mossey, a trustee , spoke of the new Cormac Trust Fellowship for research into the causes of Sudden Cardiac Death in the Young, which will be worth up to £25,000 per year to a university researcher. Additional good news for 2014 came with the surprise announcement by PwC accountancy firm, who had made the Trust its official charity in 2013, that it would be continuing its sponsorship.
The event was hosted jointly by Lynette Fay and Adrian Logan and featured several pieces of musical entertainment and Irish dancing. A draw comprising some illustrious prizes was held at the end.
The success of the evening was borne out by the thousands of pounds donated to the Trust, though the event was not principally a fundraiser. Already since then, a number of new fundraising proposals have been made by individuals who inspired by stories they heard on the night. All told, the Cormac Trust can look to the future with confidence.
Some photos from the evening are available in two albums at the Cormac Trust Facebook Page, here are the links
See below two photos of the Organising committee for the evening and Trustees of the Trust