Togher's Rock Bingo Hall proud owner of world’s largest bingo card

Togher's Rock Bingo Hall proud owner of world’s largest bingo card
Mums and their babies in front of the World Record Bingo Card at Rock Bingo, Togher, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Bingo was the name-oh on many lips in Cork today, where a popular gaming hall became the latest holder of a Guinness World Record.

The Rock Bingo Hall in Togher is now the proud owner of what is officially the world’s largest bingo card which, at nine by four metres, is 1,000 times the size of a regular card.

The record was celebrated as part of a fundraiser to tie in with World Down Syndrome Day.

All proceeds from bingo book sales, a coffee morning, and spot prize raffle are being given to the Down Syndrome Centre on Forge Hill.

Philip Purcell, manager at Rock Bingo and one of the event organisers, said his nephew Nathan has Down Syndrome:

“He was born five years ago and he got involved in the Down Syndrome Centre on Forge Hill in Cork about two years ago. The stuff they do up there is fantastic - early intervention, play therapy, art therapy, speech and language therapy - it has brought him on leaps and bounds.

So running an event like this is very close to our own hearts when we can see the benefit of it. We see him develop and grow as a person, and just to see him do this while being born with Down syndrome is astonishing. It's a very close-to-home cause.

The occasion was supported by Tánaiste Simon Coveney, who said World Down Syndrome Day is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the children and adults with Down Syndrome:

“Until somebody close to you is impacted in a positive way by Down Syndrome you don't really see that impact for real.

"I'm lucky enough to have a niece who's seven now who's extraordinarily positive and talented and has made an unexpected and hugely positive impact on our broader family."

“She lives in Dublin, her mother's very involved with the Down Syndrome Centre in Dublin and I think on days like today we should be celebrating the impact that Down Syndrome can have on families, which can be and is very, very positive for so many people."

"For many people, I think it's not until you're actually personally impacted, or your family is, that you really start to understand Down Syndrome, its complexity - and its undoubted challenges for families - of course, every disability poses challenges.

"But it also provides a different spectrum and platform within families.

When you interact with children with Down Syndrome, all of the sorts of shields that sometimes people put up tend to disappear, it creates a much more open and less fearful dialogue, often where pretense becomes a lot less important and deeper relationships come to the fore.

"That's been my experience in our family. And it's it's been a really, really positive one,” he said.

Meanwhile, the home of the All-Ireland Hurling Champions is well on the way to setting records for the world’s biggest hurling match, and now holds the distinction of having the most international players to play in a hurling game.

More than 1,000 players from over 30 countries took part in the mammoth clash of the ash exhibition match, at Limerick Institute of Technology’s GAA grounds.

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