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Eileen MacEochiadh has been a guide at Florence Court House for 6 years. On a recent visit to South Africa to see her son, she was moved by the work being done at the Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Centre for Africa. Currently participating in the Landmark Self-Expression and Leadership Program, she got permission from the Irish National Trust and created as her project a dog walk at Florence Court House as a way of raising funds for the Sisulu Center
Here is an article from the Sligo Champion
By Maria Tracey
Emotionally moved following her visit to Johannesburg, Eileen MacEochaidh is now spearheading a dog walk next week to raise funds for children in Africa.
The Glenfarne woman, who recently visited her son Cian in Johannesburg, was touched by the lifesaving operations at the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Centre for Africa, which was officially opened by former President Nelson Mandela and Mrs Albertina Sisulu in 2003.
Following her visit, Eileen invited her colleagues to join her in organising a fundraising effort in the grounds of Florence Court House, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, where she has been a guide for the past six years, on Saturday, September 8.
Eileen outlined that only 1% of all children in Africa who need heart operations ever receive them although 95% of heart defects in babies and children can be successfully treated.
“The Walter Sisulu Paediatric Centre in Johannesburg operates on children who have heart problems from all over Africa,” she said.
“I wanted to raise money for the hospital and because of the connection between Florence Court House and Africa, as the three Cole brothers fought in the Boer War and the two younger brothers stayed in Africa and made their lives there. Andrew, the present seventh Earl of Enniskillen, lives in Kenya. So there already is a connection between Florence Court and Africa.
“I love Florence Court House and grounds and I am very happy inviting people here to raise funds for the hospital in Johannesburg and build on that connection. I was delighted the National Trust gave their permission for the event to take place.”
Money raised through the dog walk will go directly to the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Centre to offer the possibility of life to children who need treatment.
The walk, which came into being as a community project on the course in Leadership and Self-Expression offered by Landmark Education, takes an hour and a quarter from start to finish and will pass by the famous Florence Court Yew and along the edge of the woods, giving a wonderful view of Florence Court House across the fields.
Registration for the dog walk is at 11am on the morning of September 8 at the Forest Park Car Park and all dogs must be on leads.
A voluntary donation of €15 is requested and all dog owners will receive a certificate with their dog’s name.