Antrim players and county board club together to donate £6,000 to food shelters to help combat pandemic
THE Antrim footballers and hurlers have made a big-hearted gesture by donating £3,000 of their expenses to food banks around the county – a figure that has been matched by the county board.
Members of the coaching staff from both squads also made financial donations as Antrim GAA does their bit to combat the ravaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The £6,000 will be evenly distributed among food shelters in west Belfast (Upper Andersonstown Community Forum), Randalstown (JAM food bank) and Ballycastle food bank.
It is understood players Patrick Gallagher, Declan Lynch and Conor McCann approached the county board about making a contribution to assist the most vulnerable in their communities in their hour of need.
County Treasurer and Roger Casement's clubman Donal Murphy said: “When I saw the amounts of money that were coming through from the players it was incredible.
"They appreciate the importance of supporting people. So, if you’re asking was I surprised by this gesture? Absolutely not because I know the character of the players and management teams.”
Once Murphy proposed matching the players' contribution, county officers didn't hesitate.
“When you hear food banks are being over-run by demand I thought this was a good opportunity for Antrim GAA to lead the way," Murphy added.
"And I was delighted that the county board put their best foot forward. I ran the idea by the chair, Ciaran McCavana, and he gave it his full backing.
“We mightn’t have any games to play right now but we still are part of the GAA family. Even though we as a county don’t have a lot of revenue coming in, we were only too happy to match the players’ figure because it was simply the right thing to do."