Organisers hoping for ‘best-ever’ Barrie Harris Walk

With over €160,000 raised to date, organisers of the Barrie Harris Walk in Creggs are hoping to make this year event the biggest and best ever.   In 1995 Creggs-based mechanic Barrie Harris died in a traffic accident. Later that year, it was decided that it would be a fitting memorial to have a sponsored walk, which would raise funds for some of the charities which Barrie, raised funds for, including the Irish Wheelchair Association. The walk, which involved a small number of people, took place on St. Stephen’s Day along a seven mile route which took walkers up and around Mount Mary before coming back down to the village. Thus the Barrie Harris Walk began and this St. Stephen’s Day 2007, the 13 th such event will take place along the same route. On Saturday last, the launch of this year’s event took place and sponsorship cards are now available from Michael O’Roarke in O’Roarke’s Spar, or any committee member or member of the Harris family. Guests were welcomed to the event by Michael O’Rourke, Chairperson of the Barrie Harris Walk Committee. Bina Harris, told guests that they were all aware of the importance of the funds raised through the walk. ‘This year things are so bad in the country that we want it bigger and better than ever before. 13 years ago when we started the walk, we started a fortnight before Christmas with a small amount of money and it has got bigger and bigger.’ Officially launching the walk, Frank Brandon said that he was stunned and honoured to be asked to perform the launch of the walk. ‘It goes without saying that when Barrie was taken away suddenly in 1995, very few people could have foreseen that 13 years later, the Barrie Harris Walk would be the biggest single social event in this village.’ He said that over the years €160,000 has been raised and several worthy charities and organisations have benefited. He encouraged all present to get a card for the sponsored walk and bring them out and make sure that this year is the biggest and best and surpasses what went before. ‘Most of you know that my hips aren’t great. I have had the two of them replaced,’ said Frank before adding that he did the Barrie Harris Walk for the first time last year after having his second hip replaced. ‘I got up the Mountain, as far as Mary D’s, passed Mary D’s and Jack Hegarty pulled up in the jeep and I hopped in and Jack brought me all the way into Creggs. The only advice I have is that he needn’t bother this year. This year I will do every yard of it and get back into Creggs and hope ye will all do the same.’