Jimmy’s marathon trek to support new parish centre

Aileen Hahesy

Aileen Hahesy

A veteran fundraiser for St. Oliver’s Parish in Clonmel is limbering up to take on the Dublin City Marathon in aid of his parish’s new €400,000 community centre, which is due to open in November.

Jimmy Moloney of St. Oliver’s Parish Finance Committee will be walking the 26 mile marathon route through the streets of the capital on the October Bank Holiday Monday, and it will be his last fundraising walk in aid of the parish.

Over the past 25 years Jimmy from Rockfield, Glenconner has literally walked the country’s highways and byways to collect money first to pay for St. Oliver’s Church and for the past two years for the community centre.

“We have had many sponsored walks down through the years including one from Dublin to Drogheda and a five-day trek in Cork and Kerry in aid of the church. We were considered to be the walking parish,” said Jimmy, who has been involved in fundraising for St. Oliver’s since 1984.

His first taste of the Dublin City Marathon was 30 years ago when he ran the arduous 26 mile challenge.

“I have no fear of the marathon. My preparations are going very well and I am fit at the moment. I am doing a lot of training, around 30 to 40 miles a week,” he said.

His fundraising target for the marathon is €5000, which he is raising through sponsorship.

He says any donation, no matter how small, is welcome and anyone wishing to fill out a sponsorship card can do so by contacting St. Oliver’s parish house at (052) 6125679 or by contacting him directly at (052) 6126901.

All proceeds he raises from the marathon will go towards paying the €130,000 interest-free loan the parish has received from the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore to help pay for the community centre, which is built on a site already owned by the parish.

Jimmy says they have close to €30,000 raised already.

The final construction works are currently underway at the new community centre, which includes a large general purpose hall, two smaller meeting rooms and a canteen/lounge, kitchen and toilet facilities. Sixty car parking spaces for both the centre and church are also being created.

The community centre will cater for a wide range of local community groups and non-sports related social clubs for all age groups.

Jimmy says the parish hall was always on their minds to develop but they couldn’t do so until now because of the financial constraints they were under in getting the church debt paid off.

He reports that the parish has received a lot of enquiries already to rent the new community hall and one of the first functions booked is the local senior citizens Christmas party.

Jimmy says he wishes to thank all St. Olivers Parish Finance Committee members, previous members of the committee, fundraisers and subscribers in the parish for all their efforts and support over the years.