Cormac McAnallen would have been looking down at Bondi Beach in Australia last weekend and smiling, as hundreds turned out for a walk to raise funds for the charity set up in his name.
That was the delighted response to the event by Rosie McGarvey from Cormac McAnallens GAC in Sydney.
Among those taking part in the walk along the famous sun soaked beach was former Kerry star Tadhg Kennelly, who once shared a room with Cormac.
The event was also given a major boost by a video message from former Derry footballer Kevin McCloy, who almost died after suffering a heart attack during a football match.
“It was a brilliant day on Sunday. The weather turned out great, Cormac was definitely looking down on us.... as it has been raining all week,” said Rosie.
“We had approx 180 people participating in the walk. We had members from all clubs within Sydney take part.
It was just brilliant to see all players and gaels within New South Wales, Sydney come together, to support the cause and put all rivalry behind.Rosie McGarvey
“It was just brilliant to see all players and gaels within New South Wales, Sydney come together, to support the cause and put all rivalry behind.”
Rosie also revealed a remarkable chance encounter with neighbours of the McAnallens in Eglish.
“When we were about to depart from Bondi Beach we had a couple approach us asking what was happening because they had seen all the GAA tops.
“They were an older Irish couple who were out visiting their daughter, and they turned out to be one of Cormac’s old neighbours in Eglish, so they joined in and were delighted to bump into us and we were delighted to have them take part.
“We also had Tadhg Kennelly, his mum, wife and daughter take part in the walk. Tadhg shared a room with Cormac during International Rules in 2002 for three weeks so it was very special to have Tadhg there on Sunday.”
By the time the walkers reached Coogee Beach there was already a crowd of around 50 people waiting to give donations.
Rosie contined: “We had a brilliant group of hard working Cormac Mc Anallens players and supporters and committee members setting up and cooking the BBQ.
“Our club chairman William Curtin from Co.Kerry finished the walk with a short speech thanking everyone for taking part in the walk and for their generous donations and most importantly helping us raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Deaths and the brilliant of work the Cormac Trust.”
So Far the event has raised $5,500 and with donations still coming they are aiming for a total of $6000.
News of the charity walk also reached as far as the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers who said she was impressed by the social media campaign.