Supporting Local News

Galway man raises a fortune in memory of brother he never knew

A trainee teacher has raised a phenomenal €20,000 in memory of a brother who died before he himself was even born.

Indeed Gerard Heneghan has been such a prolific fundraiser for the FirstLight charity which supports families reeling from the deaths of children that he has been appointed an ambassador alongside Fair City actress Una Crawford O’Brien.

The Clonberne native organised a 5km walk in 2015 when he was just 13. The year after that he set up the inaugural Baby Noel Heneghan Barn Dance in the outbuilding of a local pub. And the event was so successful he put on similar hooleys in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

During Covid he did a 176km exercise bike cycle and online raffle. His fourth barn dance will be held in Raftery’s Oakland in Glenamaddy on Saturday, July 15, when at least 300 people are expected to attend after a break during Covid.

“Every year, the atmosphere has been electric with the dance floor packed all night while our various talented performers provide great entertainment for hours on end.”

Gerard has managed to get everything donated – from the venue to the musicians and the raffle prizes as well as the decorations to make the venue like a barn – so that all money goes directly to the charity, which was so vital to his mam Bernie and dad Paddy when they lost their firstborn in an unexplained cot death.


Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

For further details on the event, log onto the Facebook page Baby Noel Heneghan Barn Dance.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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