CORONAVIRUS

Bitter blow as ever-popular Relay For Life Kilkenny is cancelled

'Heavy heart' say organisers - the fundraiser for Irish Cancer Society is always well attended by local groups, families and businesses

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY

The Candle of Hope ceremony at Kilkenny's Relay For Life in 2014. Picture: Pat Moore

One of Kilkenny’s best loved annual charity events — an important fundraiser attended by all sections of the community — has been cancelled as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

With a heavy heart, the organisers of Relay for Life Kilkenny have confirmed the event will not go ahead this year, on foot of advice of the relevant authorities.

“Having consulted with The Irish Cancer Society, we, The Relay For Life Kilkenny Committee, have now decided that the only responsible action to take is to cancel this year’s event,” the event committee confirmed on social media this week.

“Despite our disappointment, I know all Relayers will support this decision which is necessary due to the ongoing health issues in our country at this time. I do hope you understand that this decision was not made lightly, we need to put your safety first. Our hope is that come December we might be in a position to host a Candle of Hope Ceremony, this will be dependent on Covid-19 precautions lifting etc.”

All proceeds from Relay for Life Kilkenny go to the Irish Cancer Society. The event traditionally sees teams of friends, family, coworkers and community groups commit to keeping at least one member on a walking/running track for a full 24 hours, raising funds with every step taken.

The committee said that Relay For Life Kilkenny would be back in 2021, and hoped that those those individuals and groups who had committed themselves this year will be in a position to do so again next year.

“In the meantime please stay safe and do what is asked of us, for all our sakes, but especially for our wonderful cancer survivors who are the reason we all relay,” said the post. “Their safety is paramount to us all.

"Thank you for all your efforts and support to date this year and as you stay safe we can all look forward to celebrating, remembering and fighting back bigger and stronger than ever in 2021.”