RTÉ sports broadcaster Jacqui Hurley, normally more at ease behind a microphone or in front of a TV camera, spent Saturday night with parents Dave and Mairead and sisters Catriona and Sinead behind the counter of their local, The Sportman’s Rest in Ballinhassig, Co Cork, pulling pints. It was a night of mixed emotions for the family who yesterday marked the third anniversary of Sean’s tragic death.
“Sean would have loved the event on Saturday night,” Jacqui said. “The place was heaving, absolutely thronged with people.
“There were moments of emotion and poignancy when we had time to remember why we were there.
“But this journey has been such a positive thing for us all since Sean’s death.
“It really makes you appreciate friends, family, and community spirit, and the generosity of people which helped us through it all.”
Champion motorcyclist Sean, 25, died in a road accident near Halfway on the main Cork to Bandon road on November 30, 2011. Just days before, he had drawn up a bucket list of goals which included taking part in a triathlon, running a pub, owning a race-track, and running in the Cork City Marathon.
After his death, Jacqui and her family vowed to fulfil his list. Days after her wedding in June 2012, Jacqui and husband Shane McMahon ran a leg of the Cork City Marathon in Sean’s memory.
About 200 family, friends, and neighbours gathered in Ballinhassig on Saturday afternoon for a 5k fundraising run and walk before publicans Sheila and Brendan Coleman handed the keys over to the Hurley family to ensure the last item on Sean’s list could be ticked off.
Some €20,000 has been raised throughout the bucket list journey, all of which will be donated to the Cardiac Risk in the Young charity, of which Jacqui is patron.
Around €1,000 was also raised on Saturday for young sports star Jamie Wall, from Kilbrittain, who has been left paralysed after a spinal infection.
Here’s to you Sean — mission accomplished.