GAA stars support the Hurling for Hope fundraiser in aid of Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation and Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA). At the launch in Croke Park were (from left): Martina Jennings (CEO, Mayo Roscommon Hospice), Tom Parsons (CEO, Gaelic Players Association), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis GAA Club), Jacqui Hurley (RTÉ Sport) and Lillian McGovern (CEO, IMNDA). Photo: Julien Behal Photography

Mayo GAA club launch unique fundraising event

A group of friends, players, mentors and team-mates from Ballyhaunis GAA Club have come together and organised a unique fundraising event to support two charities, the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation and the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Launched at Croke Park by RTÉ’s Jacqui Hurley, the CEO of the Gaelic Players Association, Mayo native Tom Parsons, and former Mayo footballer and current Mayo hurler Keith Higgins, the Hurling for Hope fundraiser will see Keith along with his Ballyhaunis club-mates 'solo' a sliotar from Castlebar to Roscommon.

The challenge will begin at Mayo Hospice in Castlebar and will travel via Claremorris, Ballyhaunis and Castlerea before finishing at the Roscommon Hospice in Roscommon, covering a total distance of 100 kilometres. The players will be joined by a myriad of current and past GAA players along the route. The event will take place over four days, commencing on Wednesday, March 23, and finishing on Saturday, March 26.

At the launch of the fundraiser, the CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation, Martina Jennings, said: “We are so delighted that Frank Browne and the huge team involved have chosen us as one of the benefitting charities, for this unique and challenging fundraiser.

"Last year saw Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation launch our specialist palliative care unit in Roscommon, the second unit to be launched in three years, and this was made possible from incredible fundraisers just like Hurling for Hope.

"As we continue to fund palliative care services in our community and hospices, we encourage everyone to get out and support this fantastic group along their journey and we are so grateful to all the organisers.”

The CEO of IMNDA, Lillian McGovern, added: “Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association is delighted to be one of the chosen charities by the Hurling for Hope campaign. This imaginative event is going to create great awareness of Motor Neurone Disease in the major towns throughout Mayo and Roscommon.

"The services provided by the IMNDA will benefit greatly from this fundraiser and will allow us to deliver the vital services to families that have been affected by MND. We are a small organisation and we rely heavily on fundraising and donations from events like these.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in Hurling for Hope and wish them all the success with their fundraising endeavours.”

Former Mayo footballer Tom Parsons, a Charlestown native, and now chief executive of the Gaelic Players Association, said GAA players are leaders and role models within their communities so it was no surprise to see so many of them backing the Hurling for Hope campaign.

“I would like to wish all involved the very best of luck as they raise funds for two such worthy causes,” added.

Jacqui Hurley of RTÉ Sport commented: “I’m delighted to be involved in this amazing fundraising initiative, supporting two great charities. I think the last two years have shown us just how much events like this can lift community spirit. I’m sure the lads will knock a bit of craic out of the journey along the way too and I’m looking forward to following their progress.”

Four-time football All-Star and the 2021 Nicky Rackard Cup Hurler of the Year, Keith Higgins, concluded: “On behalf of the Hurling for Hope group, we are delighted to be undertaking this challenge on behalf of both the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation.

“Our aim is to raise awareness and some much needed funds for these two fantastic charities, which are close to all our hearts. We hope that as many people as possible can come out and support us along the journey and even solo a few miles.”

Donations can be made at and the group's progress can be followed on Twitter (@hurling4hope), Facebook (Hurling For Hope) and Instagram (hurling4hope).