Charity facing ‘busiest Christmas ever’

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ST Vincent de Paul is expecting its busiest Christmas in Lurgan ever as more and more families face crisis, the charity’s new president has revealed.

Speaking at the launch of the annual Town Versus Country Charity GAA match, Sr Elise Gorman told the Mail that St Vincent de Paul is hoping to help at least 200 families this Christmas.

Thousands are expected at the charity event this Sunday as top GAA stars kit out for the Town Versus Country game at St Peter’s GAA grounds.

So popular is the annual game dozens of the most exciting names in Gaelic football are set to make an appearance.

Indeed besides the 24 players on each team, as many more famous names will be waiting on the bench hoping for a kick out at the event with throw in at 2.15pm.

Sponsored by the Lurgan Mail and the Portadown Times, the event has raised almost £5,000 in the past four years.

And with the recession taking a firm grip, never was the need for generosity more stark.

Armagh Manager Paul Grimley told the Mail: “I will be telling the county players from North Armagh to throw their weight behind the event. The St Vincent De Paul Society does fantastic work in the community and I’m sure they will be delighted with the extra money in the run up to Christmas. We [Armagh Senior squad] have training the day before the game so there is no problems from a county point of view.”

The Town team, for the big charity game, will consist of players from St. Peter’s, Clan Na Gael, St.Paul’s, Eire Og, Clann Eireann and Tir Na nOg. And the country outfit will be selected from Wolfe Tones, Annaghmore, Sarsfields, Ballyhegan, Clonmore and Maghery.

The event has previously been played at Clann Eireann twice, at St.Paul’s and was also held at the Sarsfields Club.

The Mail’s GAA reporter Eugene Creaney said: “I am delighted that St. Peter’s has agreed to host the game. It’s very difficult to acquire a pitch at this time of year.

“It’s great news for the St Vincent De Paul Society particularly in the run up to Christmas.”