Northern Ireland

Caolan Finnegan: Family of Crossmaglen GAA player issue urgent appeal for funding as brain cancer treatment costs rise

The 20-year-old has been undergoing treatment at a private clinic in Germany

Caolan Finnegan walking behind the band ahead of the 2022 Armagh SFC final. His goal that day was typical of the way he plays. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Caolan Finnegan walking behind the band ahead of the 2022 Armagh SFC final. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile (SPORTSFILE)

The family of GAA player Caolan Finnegan, who is battling brain cancer, have issued a renewed appeal for funds to help with the rising cost of treatment.

The 20-year-old Crossmaglen Rangers footballer was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer last year.

Coalan, a former Ulster Colleges All-Star winner, had surgery to remove a brain tumour just days after playing for Crossmaglen against Clan na Gael in the 2023 Armagh SFC opener.

He has been receiving treatment for his cancer since.

In March a GoFundMe appeal was launched to help fund a new course of treatment abroad, raising over £50,000 in the first day.

But despite raising over £100,000, his family has recently issued a renewed call for support after it was discovered his treatment would cost almost £50,000 more than originally quoted.

Former Crossmaglen manager Gareth O’Neill, who is organising the fundraising campaign, said: “Caolan is into his third week in the private oncology clinic in Germany, he is exhausted due to the intense nature of his treatment, but is in good spirits and looking forward to getting home next week.

“The oncology team are pleased with his progress and have advised that a further three visits to the clinic would be their recommendation.

“The treatments Caolan has received on this initial visit will cost in the region of £124,000, this is much than the estimated amount of £75,000 which was quoted, as the medical team required additional tests and additional medication to ensure that Caolan is receiving the correct treatment.”

An additional £200,000 will be needed to fund the remainder of Caolan’s treatment.

Mr O’Neill added: “As you are all aware time is not our friend in this situation and the need for funds is urgent and we need to generate momentum to achieve our goal which is a positive outcome for Caolan.

“The community has shown time and time again that we can overcome the odds to achieve the unthinkable, it’s a huge task but we can and we will be successful in this endeavour .”

Since launching in March, the GoFundMe campaign has raised over £130,000.

The target has been updated to £310,000 to account for the rising costs of treatment.