GALLERY: Emergency services Ice Bucket Challenge

GALLERY: Emergency services Ice Bucket Challenge

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 The most senior members of Co Clare’s statutory and voluntary emergency services stepped up to the ice bucket challenge in Ennis on Saturday

Members of An Garda Síochána, Clare Fire and Rescue Service, National Ambulance Service and Clare Civil Defence were soaked en-masse with a continuous shower of chilled water pumped from a fire brigade hydraulic platform.

The participants included Chief Superintendent John Kerin, Chief Fire Officer Adrian Kelly, Civil Defence Officer Noel Carmody and Mayor of Clare John Crowe.

Photos: Niall Kampff

The Ice Bucket Challenge originated in America and involved people challenging each other to be drenched in ice-cold water before donating money to charity.

The concept was quickly embraced by Irish people with most choosing the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) as their favoured charity.

Amongst the celebrities who have helped the IMNDA’s cause were Munster, Ireland and Lions legend Paul O’Connell, broadcasters George Hook and Sharon Ni Bheolain and actress Amy Huberman.

Saturday’s event in Ennis was also held to help raise funds for IMNDA which has already seen almost €1.5m of donations.

As many as 40 gardaí, fire fighters, ambulance paramedics and Civil Defence volunteers stood under high pressure hoses on a fire brigade hydraulic platform normally used to tackle fires in tall buildings.

Bystanders who had not intended taking the challenge were unceremoniously hauled from the crowd and in under the shower. These included recently retired Civil Defence Office Liam Griffin and Clare County Councillor Mary Howard.

Sgt Paul Slattery of Ennis said: “We we decided we want to do this for MND, we had no difficulty getting volunteers including our own Chief Superintendent, Chief Fire Officer and Civil Defence Officer. There was no shortage of volunteers and we’re delighted with the response we got from the public on Saturday.”

Mayor of Clare John Crowe did the challenge in memory of a friend and colleague who recent lost her battle with MND.

“I was representing Clare County Councillors and was remembering especially my long time friend, the late Cllr. Mary Harty of Limerick County Council who passed away last month from this terrible disease. I would ask and encourage everybody to participate in this very worthy cause,” Mayor Crowe said.

With almost €1.5m already donated to the IMNDA, the organisation has confirmed that 25% of all funds will goto MND Research programme which is headed up by professor Orla Hardiman at Trinity College.

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