Northern Ireland

Mountain man walk raises over £13,000 in memory of Kieran Monaghan

Kieran Monaghan died in May
Kieran Monaghan died in May Kieran Monaghan died in May

The memory of a man who "lived life to the full" has been celebrated on Divis Mountain in west Belfast.

On what would have been Kieran Monaghan's 52nd birthday on Saturday, his family and friends took part in a special fundraiser, the Mountain Man Walk. 

Hundreds of people turned out to walk the mountain, an area where Mr Monaghan lived with his family, with almost £13,000 raised for the Northern Ireland Hospice. 

Mr Monaghan, a father-of-two who dedicated much of his life to his career in social work, passed away in May after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August 2022.

Tributes described him as a man who "had an incredible zest for life".

His wife Máire Thompson organised the walk in a bid to raise funds for the hospice following the help and support staff provided her husband during his cancer battle.

She said: "The staff were unbelievable and they made a very difficult time bearable.

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"Kieran had a difficult cancer journey and it is not until you are in a position of vulnerability that you truly realise the value of the hospice services.

"We will always be indebted to them and as a family we promised Kieran we would fundraise for this charity to help provide for other families that may find themselves in this position."

But Ms Thompson, principal of Hazelwood Integrated College, said the event was "bittersweet".

"I'm glad we did it, I'd told Kieran when he was sick that we would do something," she said.

"As it was his birthday and things were relatively fresh, I thought it was the right time to do it. But it was hard.

"People have been so kind, the number of people that turned up and the money raised has been fantastic."

To donate to the fundraiser, please visit the gofundme page.