Christ­mas mar­ket to raise funds for Clon Spe­cial Olympics

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Áilín Quin­lan

A pop­u­lar Christ­mas mar­ket will be held in a West Cork vil­lage next Sun­day, and all pro­ceeds will be do­nated to the Clon­akilty Spe­cial Olympics or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The an­nual Ross­car­bery Craft Fair and Christ­mas Mar­ket has be­come one of the re­gion’s most sea­sonal events in re­cent years.

Seen as a tra­di­tional lead-up to fes­tive ac­tiv­i­ties, it is an­nu­ally held in the large func­tion room of the bay­side Celtic Ross Ho­tel from 12 noon to 6pm on Sun­day.

It will fea­ture 60 stall­hold­ers of­fer­ing an ex­ten­sive ar­ray of unique gifts that can be bought di­rectly from West Cork-based crafts cre­ators and food pro­duc­ers.

The pro­ceeds from the event will be do­nated to the Clon­akilty Spe­cial Olympics Club.

The fund­ing is ex­pected to as­sist with the ex­pected ex­penses in­volved in send­ing some mem­bers of the club to the Spe­cial Olympic Games in Abu Dhabi in 2019, should they suc­cess­fully qual­ify.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion was founded in 2005 by lo­cals who were in­volved in the 2003 Clon­akilty Host Town com­mit­tee when the town played hosts to the Den­mark Spe­cial Olympic ath­letes.

The club caters for the sport­ing needs of around 25 ath­letes with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties in the com­mu­nity.

The vol­un­tary group also com­ple­ments the good work un­der­taken at the lo­cally­based COPE and CoAc­tion cen­tres.

Golf skills and bas­ket­ball are the main Spe­cial Olympics Club sports in re­cent years and, dur­ing the sum­mer, three mem­bers of the Clon­akilty-based group qual­i­fied for the Ire­land Games in Dublin next June.

Wayne O’ Sul­li­van, Eileen O’Brien and Kevin O’ Dwyer, who have been with the club for many years, will rep­re­sent Clon­akilty in Golf Skills at the Ire­land Games.

It is hoped any likely suc­cesses may, in turn, lead to one or all of them qual­i­fy­ing to rep­re­sent Ire­land in the 2019 Spe­cial Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

A spokesper­son for the Clon­akilty club said: “We are proud to have three mem­bers rep­re­sent­ing us in next sum­mer’s Ire­land Spe­cial Olympic Games. The pro­ceeds from the mar­ket will help to fi­nance some ex­pense but much more is needed to help the com­peti­tors on their way.”

Check out the Clon Spe­cial Olympics Face­book or Twit­ter pages for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

Clon­akilty Spe­cial Olympics ath­letes Kevin O’Dwyer, Wayne O’ Sul­li­van and Eileen O’Brien who have qual­i­fied for the Ire­land Games in golf skills next June.

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