Plain sailing for charity rowers

Paul Cowan, Lauren and Julie McClafferty (Duncan's daughter and wife), Gary Cowan, Chrissy Herron, Paul Cowan, Mark Cowan and his daughter, Ella; Simon Camblin, Geoff Cowan and Johnny McVeigh.
Paul Cowan, Lauren and Julie McClafferty (Duncan's daughter and wife), Gary Cowan, Chrissy Herron, Paul Cowan, Mark Cowan and his daughter, Ella; Simon Camblin, Geoff Cowan and Johnny McVeigh.
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The Bann rowers are celebrating after a successful trek up the River Bann.

Portadown men, Mark, Paul and Gary Cowan were joined by friends and family as they set off from Portadown to Portrush last week - all in memory of their uncle, Duncan McClafferty.

“The boys are all back safe and sound from the row,” shared Karen Cowan.

“They took off at 8 o’clock on Thursday morning - in their wet gear, as it was pouring down!”

Karen’s husband, Geoff, was one of the men who took to the river in an attempt to raise vital funds for Newry Hospice.

The team received a hearty send-off from family and friends, as well as sponsors, Clayton Moore of M&W Farm Meats, and John Dalzelle. They made sure they were well equipped, too - with not one, but four, Canadian canoes and a kayak.

“Thankfully, the weather took a turn for the better and they all came home with a sun tan!” Karen explained. “They arrived back from their 4 day trip on Sunday afternoon. Paul Young completed the entire trip in the kayak by himself - so he did really well. Lough Beg was the was the worst part, as it was rough - but, overall, the boys said they had a brilliant time!”

The crew rowed in memory of Duncan McClafferty, who passed away in Newry Hospice in October last year after suffering from lung cancer.

“Newry Hospice provided great care for Duncan in his final days and treated everyone who was with him with attention and compassion,” said Karen. “We cannot praise them enough for their work.

“The boys would like to thank John Dalzelle MBE, who has raised money for Newry Hospice for years and is also Geoff’s uncle; Sean Murphy, who provided the transport; Clayton Moore, Lord Mayor Darryn Causby; NS Screen Prints; Declan Brown and the staff at Craigavon Lakes; Chris Armstrong and Connor McCavigan. A big ‘thank you’ to the public for all their donations so far!”

Donations can still be made at M&W Farm Meats shop and online at: www.justgiving.com/Mark-Cowan2

Duncan’s friends and family - including his wife Julie, daughter Lauren and son John - are holding a charity night in the Seagoe Hotel on Saturday, 25 June. There will be music by Con Jovi, a disco by Ivan Webb and a raffle - with over 25 prizes donated by businesses around Portadown. Doors open at 8pm. All money raised will go to Newry Hospice.