St.Patrick’s Day Fun Run

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Croom all out for Peru on St Patrick’s Day 
One of the biggest events in the county on March 17th will be in Croom with all organisations in the parish joining forces to raise funds for impoverished Peruvian children and their families. The Croom Peruvian Children’s Project was started to help Limerick missionary priest Fr David Costello who served in Croom for seven years and who is now working in the district of Ate near Lima. Over €60,000 has been raised to date and the Project has funded the provision of schools, parish centres, and educational and health initiatives. “We raise funds in a variety of ways, the main one being an annual 6K fun run named after the late Joey Hannan, a prominent local athlete which is well supported by the athletic fraternity but in addition it’s a family day out with a bit of gentle exercise and entertainment”, said Project chairman Matthew Moloney. “When we started we realised that that continuity would be important and that raising money on a once off basis might do more harm than good so we committed ourselves to the long term. That approach has paid off in that the crèches and centres built by Fr Costello in some of the poorest communities in Peru have made a major impact in transforming the lives of so many”, he added. In his new parish near Lima, Fr Costello has now started a ‘comedor infantil’ or soup kitchen named El Comedor Padraig in memory of a friend, the late Padraig Fennessy, a member of a well known Croom family. “Each day in Peru we have to try and deal with the results of inequality. We see the world of the poor close up and there’s nothing nice about it. Nobody ever gets used to this dire, driving abject poverty”, said Fr Costello. Fr Costello was jointed in Ate recently by a fellow Limerick priest, Fr Derek Leonard, and on a recent visit the Bishop of Limerick, Dr Donal Murray, celebrated the opening of a new parish church of St John the Baptist.“People all over Limerick have been very generous in their help but the mainstay of our work in Peru has been the continued support from the people of Croom. It is difficult to put things into an Irish context because there is no social welfare In Peru for people who are the poorest of the poor to fall back on”, he added.“The poverty is such that many children are unable to attend school simply because of the lack of school uniforms, something which is insisted on by the authorities here. We are now helping 150 children with uniforms and the support from Croom enabled us to ship  
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