‘Politicians pelted’ for boat tragedy fundraiser

Maurice Quinlavin

A mother who witnessed a boating tragedy unfold last February, which left Limerick girl Amy Mulcahy fighting for her life, has organised a ‘Pelt a Politician’ fundraiser, bucket collection, and table quiz to support the girl’s “long road to recovery”.

Amy, 12, was in a rowing boat with four friends when it overturned on a stretch of the River Shannon on February 23.

Amy was trapped under the water surface for several minutes after her hair became entangled in the boat’s outriggers. She remains in a serious but stable condition at Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

Local mother of two Mary Hogan, who cannot swim, said she came upon the unfolding tragedy after hearing her son, who had raced to the riverbank, trying to calm Amy’s friends, who “would not leave the boat” without her.

“I couldn’t do a thing, I can’t swim. We couldn’t do anything for her on the day so we are doing it now. Now is our time to step up and help that child,” she said.

“The screams of those children trying to save their friend — it will haunt me for the rest of my life. Those children were so brave. They did not leave their friend and I thought that was so commendable.

I have never witnessed something so sad in my life.

Ms Hogan said she has organised an “old-fashioned” family fun day, which will incorporate traditional carnival-style games, at St Mary’s Aid, Nicholas St, Limerick, from 10am to 6pm on April 20.

Ms Hogan said she has enlisted the help of local Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan and Sinn Féin councillor John Costelloe for what could prove to be a key attraction on the day.

“We have a framed cut-out where you put your head in, and somebody batters you with water balloons,” said Mr Quinlivan.

“I’m calling it ‘Pelt a Politician’. I have lots of sponges. The craic will be 90.”

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