1979 – 2006

Annual Sponsored Weigh in.

The grand finale of our Annual Weigh in was on Monday Mar. 20th, when a large number of participants eagerly awaited the announcement of the winners in the different categories. They are as follows:-

Weight Loss; Ladies – 1st Mary Buckley, Rathcoole, 31 lbs.
2nd Julianne Daly,Clongeel, 21 lbs.
3rd Eileen Murphy, Shanacknuck, 19 llbs

Gents – 1st Patrick Fleming, Renasup, Gneeveguilla 32 lbs.
2nd Pat Hickey, Nohovaldaly, Rathmore 31 lbs.
3rd Con O’Keeffe, Banteer 24lbs.

Money Collected:- 1st Mary O’Brien, Carrigaline, € 770.00
2nd Pat Hickey, Nohovaldaly, Rathmore € 700.00
3rd Nora Ryan, Ard Mhuire, Rathmore, € 500.00

Total Money collected: – €14,000.00. Total Weight Lost :- 1,206 lbs.

Trophies were presented to all the above winners.

Many thanks to all our wonderful participants, sponsors and all who contributed in any way to the success of this annual event.

Special mention is merited by Hannah O’ Connor who has just completed her 10th year looking after and guiding the popular aerobic classes and whose contribution to the success of the Weigh-in is immense.

Our talented musicians never let us down, we know we can always depend on Kathleen O’Keeffe, Marie Casey, Finbar Murphy, Seamus Buckley and towards the end we were joined by the Linehan Family and friends from Millstreet.

Special mention was made of the late Alice O’Sullivan, Lisnaboy when her recent death was referred to. She was a true friend of the Association from the beginning in 1979 and always supported the many fundraising functions and events that are ongoing. Her pleasant smile and her warm hand of friendship will be sadly missed from all these events. Sympathy was extended to the O’Sullivan Family who are so actively involved in the Association. May she Rest in Peace.

The origins and history of:

Cullen & District Friends of the Handicapped

For decades past parents and families of mentally handicapped children had soldiered alone to care for their special children. With the advent of Community Care and community involvement in all aspects of Christian living, group at local level would be of tremendous benefit to everyone involved. Inspired by the wonderful work being done by other enthusiastic groups in outlying parishes under the auspices of Cork Polio, the wheels were set in motion for a new initiative in this respect.

Officials from Cork Polio and General After-care Association were invited to attend the inaugral meeting which took place in Cullen Community Centre (The Old Technical School) on April 10th 1979. Attendance by the local community exceeded all expectations which was very heartening indeed. Cork Polio officials present were John Birmingham, John Teegan, Con Dennehy and Mrs Dennehy. They presented a very informative programme consisting of an introduction talk by John Birmingham followed by a slide presentation showing the work being done by Cork Polio in the care of the mentally handicapped.

A local committee was formed. The first elected officers of the newly formed “Association for Parents and Friends of the Mentally Handicapped” were as follows:

President : Fr Tom Pierse, C.C, (Cullen)
Chairperson : Geoff O’Sullivan
Vice Chairperson : Kit Hickey
Secretary :Brendan Murphy
Assistant Secretary :Peg Murphy
Treasurer :Mary O’Sullivan
Members included :Peggy O’Riordan, Kathleen O’Sullivan, Phyllis O’Connor, Margaret
Goulding, Eileen Murphy, Margaret Fitzgerald, Therese Murphy,
Bridgit Hickey, Sean & Nellie Murphy, Sean O’Sullivan, Noreen
Dennehy, Mary Forde and Nora O’Connor.



Having established the existence of a compact committee and a much larger support group, it was decided to plan a major fundraising event. Many ideas were proposed, but the final choice was an old time threshing and vintage exhibition, which became known as “The Gala Harvest Afternoon”


The Sponsored Weight Loss is the greatest fund raising event that we have each year. No. 1 is is most enjoyable where all participants meet on the first night to join up, they are weighed by Dr Pat Casey, Millstreet. Each person is given a card showing their weight on the night and after a little chat with the Doctor their ideal and target weight is also written on the card. They are then weighed every Monday night and their cards are marked by Dr Casey. It is quite easy to know how each person is doing because Dr Casey being a very jolly man asks for a round of applause for those who have lost weight .
Each night before they are weighed, the participants have the opportunity of taking part in an Aerobics Class. For those not interested in Aerobics but who like dancing, can dance to Polka sets or any other dance while shedding the pounds.

Our aim is to build a respite centre for the handicapped. We have purchased a site in Cullen with the money collected by our participants.

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