Newry.ie

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill were in Newry today to acknowledge the incredible fundraising work carried out by John Dalzell. John has been collecting for the Southern Area Hospice in Hill Street in the city this past 29 years.

First Minister, Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill with John Dalzell on his Sit-Out in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
First Minister, Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill with John Dalzell on his Sit-Out in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

The Ministers visited John in his trailer at Marcus Square and took time for a chat and to thank him for his years of dedicated fundraising.

First Minister, Arlene Foster; Cllr Charlie Casey; Mickey Brady MP and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill with John Dalzell at his Sit-out.
First Minister, Arlene Foster; Cllr Charlie Casey; Mickey Brady MP and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill with John Dalzell at his Sit-Out.

First Minister, Arlene Foster said "It's great to be here in Newry today and to mark the work of John Dalzell and the fact that he has been doing this for 29 years, has raised £1.7 Million Pounds for the Southern Hospice. It's really good to acknowledge that, and I think it's important at Christmas time that we do that because the Hospice does such fabulous work for the Southern Trust Area."

First Minister Foster added "We know that they do a lot of good work here in Newry but also right across the Southern Trust area with their outreach where they go up as far as Dungannon in my own constituency."

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said  "This is the Christmas Spirit definitely in action, where people are so good supporting people that need help, particularly those people that need the care of the Hospice. I want to say well done to John for 29/30 years of raising funds for a very worthy cause."

First Minister Arlene Foster chats to Cllr David Taylor, John Dalzell and James McCaffrey, Southern Area Hospice. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
First Minister Arlene Foster chats to Cllr David Taylor, John Dalzell and James McCaffrey, Southern Area Hospice. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

When John started it was suggested that it would be a fundraiser for one year "I just decided I'll keep on going. I'll keep on going while I've got the health"

John is very grateful for the team around him that help year in year out. As John points out quite an amount has been raised to date "At the moment it's £1.7 Million - a fair bit of money if you had to count it!"

So far this years collection has been better than previous years and although he is unsure why John is hoping that peoples generosity will help beat his target

John will be 79 years old on Monday and Newry.ie suggested that he might just keep going till he is 99 and while he didn't deny the possibility he added "I'll be in a Zimmer frame"

Deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill with Seamus McCabe, PIPS Hope and Support.
Deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill with Seamus McCabe, PIPS Hope and Support.

The Deputy First Minister also took the time to call in to the PIPS Hope and Support Office on Mill Street where Seamus McCabe presented her with a copy of the Voices of Covid Book.

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