‘The Money we raise for them people’

Rostrevor Old Guard

I hate to duplicate threads so I looked back over the Slugger articles of the past few days to see how many references there have been to one of the worst humanitarian crises of recent years. I know that Peter and Iris are riveting, but really boys, can we not move on to other subjects of importance and interest? As far as I can see, this will be the first thread to reference the Haitian earthquake and any efforts being made in Northern Ireland to make a contribution there.

I was unceremoniously dragged up to the GAA Club Rooms in Rostrevor this evening for a spontaneous fund-raiser for victims of the earthquake. Indeed, I was fairly unceremoniously dragged to Rostrevor about 20 years ago in the first place and little has changed. Some of the faces get a little older and a lot more wrinkled and some of the seats aren’t filled any more, but Rostrevor is a unique place in many ways and it has been a privillege to live here. The heart of the community in Rostrevor is under threat as the GAA hall has been sold and will cease to exist as the nerve centre of the village from August 15th 2010. Many thousands of people from Northern Ireland and across the world will know the hall from the Fiddlers Green Festival which has been held for over 20 years. It may seem like a throw back and many of the acts I saw this evening brought me straight back to the 70’s. but there is little to compare to the spirit of a village that comes together in the face of adversity. Tonight they raised just under £3000 for the victims in Haiti and I know that similar projects are taking place all over Northern Ireland in the coming days. It was marvellous to see people from all walks of life and those with tremendous talent giving of their time and money for this cause.

No matter what people think about Haiti, there is an unprecendented human tragedy unfolding and surely it is part of our contract as fellow humans to partake in anything that will assist in the aid efforts there. It all seems to have been very chaotic so far as a result of inadequate infrastructure and very serious damage, but it is also a salutory reminder that there for the grace of god, go any of the rest of us. Please give generously.