Treasurer of Limerick Association Birmingham completes The ‘Great Brum Run’ for charity

Pat O’Neill and Beverley Hart, who completed The ‘Great Brum Run’ to raise money for SIFA Fireside Centre, Birmingham

Pat O’Neill and Beverley Hart, who completed The ‘Great Brum Run’ to raise money for SIFA Fireside Centre, Birmingham

On 19th October 2014 Pat O’Neill took part in the Birmingham ‘Great Brum Run’ a half marathon around the centre of Birmingham; Pat ran in aid of SIFA Fireside Centre in Birmingham.

Well done you might say, but what if you learnt that the man himself not only being 73 years of age and a grandfather of eight, was also only partially sighted having tunnel vision only in one eye! Now that is some achievement. His ‘eyes’ for the marathon were provided by Beverley Hart, who became his guide for the event and Pat is very grateful to Beverley for her support.

Pat is also a member of the West Limerick Athletic club and runs with them whenever is at home in Adare County Limerick.

Pat lost his sight completely over 40 years ago after being struck down with Eales Disease and went on to learn Braille and telephony at the Queen Alexander College in Birmingham. He landed a job at Allied Irish Bank in Sparkhill as a blind telephonist; he retired 28 years later as a business development manager.

During that time Pat had some pioneering operations on his eyes and gained tunnel vision only in one eye. Pat said when he opened his eye and was able to see, limited though it was, he felt he had been given his life back.

Pat has worked tirelessly for charity over the years; he is a governor at South and City College Birmingham, Chairman of Small Heath Boxing Club and has been treasurer of the Limerick Association for over 25 years.

Pat took part in the marathon to raise money for the SIFA Fire Side Centre in Digbeth Birmingham, a charity which the Limerick Association is supporting this year. All profit made from the many functions they are running will be presented to the charity in January.

The Associations next event will be a dance at St Patrick’s Club on Rotton Park Road, Edgbaston on 15th November 2014, come along and support us, you will be very welcome; the cost is £5 which will include a light supper.