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Omagh teacher’s diagnosis spurs epic fundraising effort

THE son of a former Omagh teacher who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is in the middle of an epic challenge of running ten half-marathons in 10 days for families affected by the condition

Emmett O’Hara who is the son of former Omagh CBS teacher Dominic O’Hara will complete this grueling task across both the North and in Liverpool which is a special place for him and his father who is a ardent Liverpool FC fan.

The young student is following in his father’s footsteps studying at Liverpool Hope University so he can also become a teacher has already raised over £20,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

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Dominic wad diagnosed with MND back in October last year.

Emmett said that finding out about his father’s illness was very hard to take and made even worse by the fact he had already lost his mother to breast cancer at a young age.

“Motor Neurone Disease is going to take away more than just my Dad it is going to take away my best friend,” said Emmett

“For anyone reading this that knows me in real life, will already be aware of how much my Dad means to me and how hard it is to speak about this never mind set up a page to raise money.

“As many people also know it is just my dad, sister and I at home as we lost our mum to breast cancer when we were younger so as you can imagine finding out the news that our Dad is also now ill with a cruel disease is very hard to come to terms with.”

He added, “I really want to help people who are going through the same thing as me and my sister and raise a bit of money for families effected with MND.”

Emmett was inspired by the efforts of ex-Leeds Rhinos rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield who ran seven marathons in seven days for his ex club mate Rob Burrows who was diagnosed with MND.

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He ran one of his half marathon legs through Omagh on Friday, which was his fourth distance run in as many days.

Starting at Christian Brothers school he ran 13 miles throughout the town assisted by staff members from the school who ran alongside him in legs. The half marathon was completed at Coolnagard Pitches where he and staff members from the school ran around the pitches.

The Head of PE at Christian Brothers school Finnian Moriarty, said that the amount of money raised shows the lasting effect Dominic has had on people he knows and his former pupils.

He said, “What Emmett, is doing is phenomenal, it takes tremendous amounts of determination and effort and speaks to his strong resolve.

“The money raised shows how well thought of his father Dominic is. He is a real character and he left a lasting effect on a number of his former students.

“When I look down at the names of people who have donated I see a lot of his ex pupils.”

You can follow Emmett’s journey on his Instagram page where he will be documenting all of his runs and donate to his cause on his just giving page.

By Thomas Maher

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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