Ray Joyce, Grand Knight of Knights of St. Columbanus, Athlone, welcomed a gathering at the Obelisk monument at Burgess Park last week. He welcomed Fr. Brendan O’Sullivan Parish Priest of Ballinahown, Boher, Pullough and chaplain to the local Knights in Athlone and also Marie Moran and Deirdre Collins from Athlone and Midland Samaritans.
Standing beside the Obelisk sculpture, Ray said that the monument, although a friendly camera focus, had a more poignant function as it is dedicated to those who have lost family members and friends to the River Shannon.
It also remembers those loved ones left behind and has a touching reflection and emergency contact numbers attached including the Samaritans. It was fitting he said to hold the presentation here to praise the work of the Samaritans and call on people in need to give them a call as they are available 24 hours.
He said: “Samaritans offers a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you”.
Speaking after receiving a cheque from the Grand Knight, Marie Moran, on behalf of Athlone and Midland Samaritans Branch, expressed sincere thanks to Ray Joyce and to all the Athlone Knights of Columbanus for their ongoing generous and faithful support for Samaritans. She complimented Padraig Dunne and Cieran Temple on the magnificent 2021 photographic calendar, containing iconic images of Athlone, which they produced in conjunction with the Knights as a fundraiser for Athlone Samaritans.
Due to Covid restrictions, many of Samaritans’ usual fundraising activities had to be curtailed so they were very grateful for this additional donation. Marie said the branch is very busy in these difficult times and although currently they are unable to cater for drop-in callers to the branch Samaritans volunteers are available to listen and support anyone struggling to cope anytime, day or night, every day of the year on Freecall 116123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.