Just 15 months after starting from scratch, a group of Irish golfers with Parkinson’s have raised €28,000 for Parkinson’s Ireland.
They have also built a growing golf community, the Irish Parkinson’s Golf Network, and are keen to recruit their first female members and more players from Northern Ireland.
England’s Charlie Appleyard approached Parkinson’s Ireland in February 2021 looking for players to take part in a Four Nations event at The Belfry.
By word of mouth alone, Ireland assembled a team consisting of (left to right) James Quinlivan (Faithlegg), Kevin Fitzsimons (Co Sligo), Alex Banahan (Beaverstown), Adrian Gray (Tralee), Padraig Barry (Ballykisteen) and Gerard Loughnane Consist (Cregmore), Cormac Mehigan (Adare), Billy Davis (Elm Park) and Gerry O’Connor (Worplesdon).
England took home the trophy but Ireland’s Parkinson’s Golf Network now has 30 players.
“We played with celebrities and sponsors on the last day and had a very good time,” said Mehigan, a consultant in University Hospital Limerick’s Department of Emergency Medicine, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three and a half years ago.
“We had our first outing at Faithlegg on March 21st and have further outings planned for Portumna on June 9th and another at Tullamore Golf Club on August 18th with an overnight stay at the Bridge House Hotel.
“We raised quite a bit of money last year giving around €28,000 to Parkinson’s Ireland and are looking for venues for our own event in October 2023.
“We don’t have any female members yet, so there may not be many ladies with Parkinson’s who play golf, although our players’ partners do play on our outings.
“We’re not particularly well represented from Ulster either, but have been in touch with Sarah Banville, the inclusion coordinator at Golf Ireland.
“We plan to use some of the money raised to get people with Parkinson’s golfing by giving them lessons.
Parkinson’s sufferers interested in trying golf should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Padraig Barry at email@example.com.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/tee-to-green/parkinsons-golf-network-takes-off-41664813.html Parkinson’s Golf Network takes off