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Fundraiser donates over €30,000 to school – in memory of Dave Daly


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Fundraiser donates over €30,000 to school – in memory of Dave Daly Fundraiser donates over €30,000 to school – in memory of Dave Daly

It was the last wish of a Galwegian gone too soon; to do something that would show his support for and gratitude to the special school where his beloved granddaughter had learned to thrive.

So with Dave Daly’s death at the age of just 64, his family and friends decided to do it in his memory – and last week they presented a cheque for over €30,000 to Lakeview Special School in Renmore, where 13-year-old Ashlee is among the 64 pupils, all of them with mild intellectual disabilities.

The Daly family are synonymous with soccer in Galway, so the centrepiece of a weekend of fundraising was always going to be a football match – this one an Over-40s friendly between two of Dave’s former teams, West United and Our Lady’s Boys Club.

But it quickly spiralled into more than that, with a cake sale before the game and a night of nostalgia in the Claddagh Hall where Galway United legends Tommy Lally, John Mannion and Dave’s brother Gerry Daly spoke of their great days in the maroon shirt.

Gerry himself was one of the driving forces behind the weekend along with Willie Grant and the old West United network.

“When we started this, we had about two and a half weeks to get it all done. And I honestly thing that nobody could believe we would raise anything like the amount we did,” he said.

“So many people helped every step of the way, and those of us who were in the school for the presentation were only a few of them. We are so thankful to everyone who helped us, and we’re so sorry that everyone couldn’t be there on the day – but that doesn’t mean we won’t be forever grateful to them,” he added.

Padraic Hughes is the Principal at Lakeview and he said they were absolutely delighted with the money – but also with the increased awareness that it created for their school.

“I know this was a special place in Dave’s eyes and I now know Gerry feels the same, and this just means so much to us,” he said.

“We are a Department of Education school, but a donation like this allows us to do so much more; to fund additional services for the kids, to pay for trips and days out – it just makes day-to-day so much easier.

“It was also great to increase awareness of our school, because loads of people will know where we are in Renmore but not everyone knows what we do,” he added.

Lakeview caters for students from five to 18 with mild learning difficulties as well as children with autism, while its sister school on the same site, Rosedale, looks after those with more serious to profound needs.

The school’s catchment area stretches well beyond the city; Lakeview has pupils who travel from Gort, Tuam, Dunmore and Barna among other parts of the county.

Padraic, a native of Kilmaine in Co Mayo, is a relative newcomer to the school, but the night with the former Galway Rovers and United players in the Claddagh Hall also gave him a new insight into ‘old Galway’.

“I learned so much that night – not just about the football, but also about the city and that sense of community. I still can’t believe how much they raised in such a short space of time, but it is clearly testament to Dave’s wishes, and to how people felt about him as well,” he said.

Gerry Daly will never forget the generosity of so many in making this such a success.

“From the very outset, this was just about Dave and the children. We’re delighted it was such a success, and I hope that the money raised brings them nothing but good luck,” he said.

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