Donegal Connect Raises €3,000 for Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust

Cllr. Rena Donaghy, Cathaoirleach Donegal County Council presents a cheque to Colin Bell of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.  Background L – R: Garry Martin, Director of Services, Donegal County Council, Eithne Bell, Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust and John McLaughlin, Chief Executive Donegal County Council
Presentation of Cheque to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust

As part of the 2019 Donegal Connect celebrations,  the Donegal Diaspora raised over €3,000 for The Kevin Bell Repatriation Fund. The funds were raised through a sponsored walk to The Bridge of Tears in Falcarragh and a concert with legendary Donegal music group, Altan.

Earlier this week – as part of the launch of Donegal Connect 2020 – Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Rena Donaghey formally presented a cheque for €3,000 to Colin Bell of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust; a charity that helps bereaved families repatriate bodies of loved ones back to Ireland.

“The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust has supported so many bereaved families across the island of Ireland including Donegal” said Cllr. Donaghey. “Having this type of support and assistance at such a harrowing time for families is vital and it’s something that we are delighted to support as part of the 2019 Donegal Connect event.”

Speaking at the cheque handover, Colin Bell, says: “We’re really grateful to Donegal Connect for raising funds for our charity. The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust was established in 2013 following the tragic death of our son Kevin, while he was working in New York. It’s every family’s worst nightmare, but the support that we got from the diaspora at the time was heartfelt, particularly The Aisling Irish Community Centre in New York. It was a true example of what the Donegal diaspora means to people all across Ireland and the world, connecting people through the best and worst of times.”

Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise Donegal added: “Last year, as the Donegal Diaspora gathered in the county for Donegal Connect 2019, we undertook a fundraising walk from Falcarragh to the Bridge of Tears; a local landmark which represents so much of the sorrow and loss of emigration – and the cornerstone of our diaspora. We were delighted to raise funds for the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, a charity that provides such an important service for families in times of crisis. The Bell family, like so many others, faced their worst nightmare when their son Kevin lost his life abroad. Over the past seven years, the work of Trust has impacted upon virtually every county in Ireland, repatriating 969 loved ones to their families across the island of Ireland including 32 Donegal families – it is a wonderful way to honour their son and keep his memory alive.”

Cllr. Donaghey concluded by acknowledging the unwavering support provided by The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust to bereaved families and thanked them on behalf of the people of Donegal both at home and abroad.

Meanwhile, this year’s Donegal Connect event will take place virtually on Thursday, 8th October and will showcase all that is great about County Donegal, engaging with the Donegal Diaspora to help them further explore and reconnect with their links to County Donegal. Key themes for this year’s event include relocating to Donegal, remote working, business innovation, tourism and a traditional Irish music extravaganza. See www.donegalconnect.com