first_imgThis feature is dedicated to some very special people I met last weekend. Their collective name is Little Mascots, their individual stories, so very different.BY JOANNE SWEENEY-BURKE Meanwhile in the competitor arena 11 men weighing in at 14-stone each stood side by side with their countries flags flapping in the wind.Each fighting to lift the title of Europe’s Strongest Man Under 90kg.Erin Harrold from Ballybofey had prepared posters to support her finalist Wallace Clarke, while Thomas White brought presents for his little mascot Christian McCullagh and that evening proudly showed his photos with Christian and his parents.The sight of Europe’s Strongest Men with some of Europe’s strongest kids, albeit at different levels of strength, was a sight to behold. “I can’t explain the impact the Little Mascots had on our Strongmen,” said Dave Warner, co-organiser of the event. “These giants of strength were brought to tears meeting and getting to know their little Mascots.”A few special mentions are warranted in this blog post and everyone will understand why I take this risk.Erin Gallagher has battled her way back from Leukaemia but stood tall in stature alongside her finalist and Ireland’s Strongest Man Gavin Redmond.Erin Harrold just doesn’t stop smiling despite living with Spina Bifida and confined to a wheelchair. A proud supporter of Wallace Clarke, Erin watchd the entire event from the sidelines.Little Eoin McGinley shys away from the limelight, but his story is one of huge bravery after arriving in the world at just 26 weeks old and losing his twin brother Caolan. However, he made quite an impact on his finalist Shay Ryan from Co. Wexford and who holds the title of Ireland’s Strongest Man Under 90kg.Christian McCullagh has battled and has a battle ahead with a kidney transplant looming in October. His donor is his Dad. Four-year old Sarah McFeely has Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy and was the leader in the pack as she led Head Referee and former World Strongman Darren Saddler onto the field of play. Delighted with the atmosphere and absorbing the occasion Sarah is a little fighter.14-year old Ruaidhri McConigley from Downings was presented with an official athlete’s t-shirt by Dave Warner, co-organiser. His strength of character in his fight against Scoliosis or severe curvature or spine since he was two, inspire his parents and those around him.Little Livvy with her sparkle and charm arrived ready for her role. The six-year old from Ramelton has Dyspraxia but according to her Dad enjoys most things despite not having the dexterity, balance, coordination and concentration of her peers.And not forgetting Kyle Gallagher, Cody Laverty, Gavin Friel, Jake Coleman and Erika Higgins who completed our fantastic Little Mascots. You wore the title so well and we look forward to watching you on the TV! No words can describe the sight of the Litter Figthers with the Strongmen – and for Europe’s Strongest Men they were overwhelmed exposing there softer side.To the mum’s and dad’s of all the Little Mascots you too inspire us.THE BRAVEST LITTLE STRONG PEOPLE IN ALL OF DONEGAL – A TRIBUTE was last modified: September 17th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

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