Lovely hurl­ing, El­ber

CAMPIAGNER EL­BER BRINGS TO­GETHER TOP COPS FROM UK AND IRE­LAND FOR HUGELY SUC­CESS­FUL WEEK­END OF EVENTS IN MEELIN

The Corkman - - FRONT PAGE - SHEILA FITZGER­ALD

LAST week­end saw a se­nior UK ‘cop­per’ let loose with a hur­ley ... in Meelin. And that was only for starters.

It was the fifth Twomey Fam­ily Re­mo­rial Week­end and, apart from draw­ing hun­dreds and hun­dreds of vis­i­tors to lit­tle Meelin, it also drew As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Jim Nye of the Devon and Corn­wall Po­lice – and quite a squad of gar­daí from var­i­ous cor­ners of the coun­try, too.

It was a hugely suc­cess­ful week­end, in balmy weather, that will cer­tainly add to the huge amounts al­ready raised for good causes. Of course, the great at­mos­phere couldn’t com­pletely ban­ish the des­per­ately tragic events be­hind the an­nual week­end – and why Jim Nye was there too.

“El­ber is an amaz­ing wo­man, whose strength of char­ac­ter ap­pears end­less,” he told The Cork­man.

TWO of the most se­nior of­fi­cers in­volved in roads polic­ing in Ire­land and the UK helped mark the fifth an­niver­sary Twomey Fam­ily Re­mo­rial week­end this year.

They were Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Ai­den Reid of Ir­ish Roads Polic­ing and for­mer pres­i­dent of the EU road traf­fic polic­ing net­work TISPOL, and As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Jim Nye of Devon and Corn­wall Po­lice.

Their ap­pear­ance at the event, held each year in memory of Meelin-based Twomey fam­ily mem­bers Con­nie, Oisín and baby El­ber-Marie, who died in a UK crash in­volv­ing sui­ci­dal driver Marek Wo­j­ciechowski in 2012, is highly sig­nif­i­cant. Both men have been in­volved in help­ing change the way po­lice of­fi­cers and gar­daí deal with sui­ci­dal drivers since the crash.

Po­lice train­ing has been a key el­e­ment of El­ber Twomey’s cam­paign, which was launched after Con­nie Twomey, his 16-month-old son Oisin and his wife El­ber’s un­born daugh­ter El­ber Marie all died as a re­sult of the crash.

El­ber, 42, sur­vived the crash de­spite hor­rific in­juries, in­clud­ing a crushed jaw and pelvis.

She has since vowed to raise aware­ness of men­tal health is­sues in gen­eral and to help change the way po­lice of­fi­cers – on both sides of the Ir­ish Sea - deal with sui­ci­dal drivers in par­tic­u­lar.

As a re­sult of the ef­forts of the 100-strong team she has be­hind her cam­paign, more than €130,000 has been raised for char­i­ties and she has been di­rectly in­volved in po­lice train­ing.

Mrs Twomey told The Cork­man: “This year’s week­end was a won­der­ful suc­cess, thank God.

We were blessed with mag­i­cal weather and great sup­port”.

On Satur­day morn­ing the Re­mo­rial, sup­ported by New­mar­ket Mo­tors & VW Com­mer­cial, opened with the un­der 12 Con­nie Twomey Memo­rial Hurl­ing Blitz. St. Marks, Croagh Rovers, New­mar­ket and winners Bish­op­stown took part.

As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Jim Nye, Garda Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Reid and his wife, Deirdre, Cobh-based Garda In­spec­tor Joe O’Connor and New­mar­ket-based Garda Sergeant Dan Mur­phy were among those at­tend­ing. Other mem­bers of An Garda Siochana in­cluded Dublin Cas­tle-based Sergeant Keith White and col­leagues.

Con­nie’s brother-in-law, Aonghus MacDomh­naill, led a well-at­tended table quiz and lo­cal mu­si­cians led by Kath­leen Wright from Rockchapel and Liam Guiney from Meelin drew Satur­day to a close with mu­sic, song and dance in Meelin Hall.

Sun­day morn­ing was an early start with a 55k and 110k cy­cle or­gan­ised by Twomey Fam­ily Re­mo­rial com­mit­tee mem­ber Johnny Stack, leav­ing Rockchapel at 8.30am.

As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Nye of­fi­cially sent them on their way with some handy words of road safety ad­vice.

Mo­ments be­fore an im­promptu bike horn sounded to start the race, he vowed to re­turn next year and take part.

The race start was fol­lowed by Mass in Rockchapel. On Sun­day after­noon, a huge gath­er­ing of walk­ers and runners gath­ered in Meelin vil­lage. Amongst the runners were a con­tin­gent of gardai from Ir­ish Roads Polic­ing in Dublin - and a Tom O’Rior­dan, who had al­ready com­pleted the 110k cy­cle.

Meelin vil­lage was buzzing for the evening with DJ Liam O’Sul­li­van and lo­cal mu­si­cians.

“In­deed our fifth an­niver­sary Re­mo­rial was yet an­other emo­tional, yet beau­ti­ful trib­ute to hon­our Con, Baba Oisín and Baby El­ber-Marie,” said El­ber. “Huge thanks to our won­der­ful com­mit­tee and fan­tas­tic peo­ple in both com­mu­ni­ties who con­tinue to in­spire us at Twomey Fam­ily Re­mo­rial. #LifeIsPre­cious”.

As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Jim Nye spoke to The Cork­man at the hurl­ing blitz and said it was an hon­our to at­tend the Re­mo­rial Week­end. “El­ber and I have kept in con­tact since the tragic events of 2012 and I was de­lighted to be able to make the event this year,” he said.

“I think El­ber is an amaz­ing wo­man, whose strength of char­ac­ter ap­pears end­less. I have watched from across the sea as she pro­motes road safety na­tion­ally and im­prov­ing the col­lec­tive re­sponse to men­tal health in cri­sis. Her drive for this work ap­pears to know no bounds.

“I will con­tinue to help her where I can, and she is right, life is pre­cious,” he added.

“Can I also thank El­ber’s fam­ily and friends for mak­ing me feel so wel­come, and to the com­mu­ni­ties of Meelin and Rockchapel, who were most gen­er­ous to me. It was my first time in that part of Ire­land and I took away a true sense of com­mu­nity spirit, friend­ship and gen­eros­ity.

“I have promised El­ber I will be back to do the bike ride in the fu­ture” Jim Nye said.

Event host El­ber Twomey with Devon and Corn­wall As­sis­tant Chief Con­sta­ble Jim Nye at the hurl­ing blitz dur­ing the Twomey Fam­ily Re­mo­rial last week­end in Meelin.

Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Jim Nye of Devon and Corn­wall Po­lice and El­ber Twomey pic­tured with the Ballincol­lig Team and their trainer Donal Mur­ray at the Re­mo­rial Hurl­ing Blitz in Meelin.

Adam, Chloe and Kel­lie O’Connor with their Dad Ea­monn took part in the four mile walk.

Eileen O’Donoughue and Mary Weathers from Ban­teer sup­ported the Twomey Re­mo­rial.

Eileen McCarthy, Mount­collins, and Mar­ion O’Connor, Knock­nagoshel took part in the walk.

El­ber Twomey pic­tured with par­tic­i­pants at the start of the four mile run in Meelin. Photo John Tar­rant

Eileen Deely and Elaine Guiney, Rockchapel, took part in the four mile run.

El­ber Twomey con­grat­u­lates Tom O’Rior­dan after com­plet­ing both the cy­cle and Road Run at the Twomey Reml­rial host­ing in Meelin. Pic­ture John Tar­rant

Kan­turk’s Mary Boyce (Mount Hil­lary) thrilled to cross the fin­ish­ing line.

Liz Bradley from Glen­lara equipped with wa­ter at the run.

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