Volunteers take the plunge for MND research

Conall Finnegan takes on the ice bukcet challenge at Taylor's Avenue.  INCT 36-726-CON
Conall Finnegan takes on the ice bukcet challenge at Taylor's Avenue. INCT 36-726-CON

Visitors to Taylor’s Avenue braved icy conditions recently to raise funds and awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena hosted an ice bucket challenge for the charity on Saturday, August 29.

The event was organised by Carrickfergus sisters Caroline and Gillian Harkness, whose father Herbert was diagnosed with MND several years ago.

Motor neurone disease is a progressive condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord.

Although there is currently no cure for the disease, symptoms can be managed, said the Association.

“We raised over £400 on through the ice bucket challenge, the raffle and by collecting at the Loughshore Festival afterwards,” said Caroline. “Some people came down from Ballyclare and East Belfast to take part.”

Lending support on the day was former Gaelic footballer Anto Finnegan, who was diagnosed with MND three years ago.

Meanwhile, the local branch of Tesco donated the ice used in the challenge along with a number of raffle prizes.

“Our dad wasn’t well enough to come down, but he was very proud of what we had raised both in money and awareness,” Caroline added.

“MND can affect anyone and if all of this takes us one step closer to finding a cure then its worth doing.”

Caroline is also auctioning an MND Association T-shirt signed by members of the cast from daytime soap Hollyoaks.

Details of how to bid on the shirt are available at the challenge event page on www.facebook.com/MNDIceBucketChallenge2015