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Marathon runners pay tribute to St Kieran's pupil Declan

by MARY MAGEE

Thomas Doyle and his son Adrian present the two cheques raised by St. Kieran's Primary School in memory of Declan to Fiona Collinson from The Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children's Haemotology unit. US2107-524C0

Thomas Doyle and his son Adrian present the two cheques raised by St. Kieran's Primary School in memory of Declan to Fiona Collinson from The Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children's Haemotology unit. US2107-524C0

EIGHTEEN adults from St Kierans Primary in Poleglass ran this year's Belfast Marathon in tribute to a pupil at the school who died from a brain tumour last Christmas.

Teachers, staff and parents completed the run in memory of Declan Doyle who died on Christmas Day 2006 at the age of just 11.

Staff were keen to raise money in memory of the popular lad and vice principal Brian McAlea, a keen marathon runner, suggested entering the Belfast event. The team met every week at the Ozone Leisure Centre and ran along the Lagan Towpath.

Mr McAlea explained: "Everyone was so moved by what happened to Declan and were keen to do something positive to raise money in memory of Declan. I am a marathon runner and so it was decided that they would do the Belfast Marathon.

"It was great for staff morale and their efforts were well rewarded."

Their aim was to complete the relay run in under four hours which they just managed - clocking three hours 52 minutes.

Mr McAlea believes Declan's spirit remains with them. He said he had been going through some old test papers and one fell out, one which belonged to Declan.

Declan took ill in August 2006. His father noticed he was off balance and walking to one side and a series of tests discovered he had a brain tumour.

At the cheque presentation held at the school recently Principal Mr. Leo Rice, paid tribute to everyone who helped raise the money.

Declan's father Thomas and brother Adrian presented the cheques to Ms. Fiona Collinson from the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children who accepted two cheques totalling 1,500 on behalf of the Haematology Ward and the Malcolm Sargent Fund who run a Respite Centre.

Ulster Star
01/06/2007