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POSTED 23.10.2023

€30,000 raised for HUGG by couple

A Sligo couple who recently ran the Dublin Marathon have raised €30,000 for HUGG, a national suicide bereavement charity whose message is ‘Hope and Healing’.

Conor and Cathy McCarthy’s lives were changed forever on May 1 when their beloved son Ross died by suicide, two weeks shy of his 25th birthday. The couple say they are now undertaking a journey of grief that will stay with them for rest of their lives.

Founded in 2017 by Fiona Tuomey, who lost her own daughter Milly to suicide, HUGG is a national suicide bereavement charity which helps those bereaved by suicide by providing support and information. HUGG currently has 16 support groups in various locations around the country. Each group is facilitated by two trained volunteers and meets every two weeks for two hours.

HUGG arranges seminars on grief delivered by grief and loss specialists whose talks and expertise help those impacted by suicide to understand the grief they are experiencing and to develop mechanisms to cope.

The fundraising will help HUGG set up support groups for bereaved parents and families outside of Dublin, including one in Sligo where the McCarthys live. The money, which has been presented by cheque to HUGG in Dublin, will also assist with training and upskilling facilitators for HUGG Groups in addition to supporting funding ongoing work.

Commenting on the donations received, Conor said:

“We are very pleased to be able to say that we have raised just over €30,000 for HUGG. During the 42 kilometres of the Dublin City Marathon, we leant not only on Ross, but also on all the wonderful people who have shown their confidence in us, to guide us step by step from the excitement of the start, through the grueling pain of the journey, to the exhilaration of crossing the finish line.

“Without a doubt, it was a very emotional occasion for us when we put our feet across the start line and we began our Dublin City Marathon journey in remembrance of our beloved son Ross. In many ways, the endurance test of the marathon is similar to the endurance of our own life marathons as we continue on our grief journey without Ross.

 “We have been truly overwhelmed and deeply humbled by the financial support we have received. Funds have not only been raised but so too, awareness among a wide range of people of the supports that HUGG provide to those bereaved by suicide. As a result, the charity has seen a significant increase in calls from those bereaved by suicide, looking for help.

For more information on HUGG and the incredible work they do, visit their website here.