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Fr Tony Coote who raised funds for motor neurone disease research dies

Walking with Fr Tony Coote in aid of Motor Neurone Disease research

A PRIEST who raised hundreds of thousands of Euro for motor neurone disease (MND) research has died.

Fr Tony Coote was 53 when he was diagnosed with MND in February 2018.

A few months later, he found himself confined to a wheelchair.

Last year, he undertook a walk from Donegal to Cork under the banner Walk While You Can, which raised €600,000.

Fr Coote was the administrator of Mount Merrion and Kilmacud parishes in Dublin and Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin expressed his sympathy.

"Tony showed all of us how strength can be witnessed even in the face of human weakness. His courage and determination touched the hearts of people of all backgrounds," he said.

Róisín Duffy, chief executive of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, also paid tribute.

She said the Walk While You Can challenge was "testament to his resilience and determination".

Funds raised are already making an impact on Ireland's MND community, she said.

"From the moment he was diagnosed, Fr Tony Coote not only bore his illness with tremendous dignity, he also became a tireless advocate for everyone living with MND," Ms Duffy said.

A Walk While You Can event will take place on September 14 in Fr Coote's memory.

"We pledge to honour his memory, and continue to support his vision for a world free of MND," Ms Duffy added.

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