Wednesday, July 21, 2021

This year marks the 20th anniversary of a tragedy that devastated the people of Erris and beyond.

On July 19, 2001, brother and sister Niall and Tisha Murphy lost their lives in a drowning accident in Belmullet. Niall was just five and his sister Tisha was 15.

The Murphy family from Seaside in Belmullet say they will “never forget” that fateful day. On the 20th anniversary of Niall and Tisha’s passing, the Murphy family have launched a fundraiser. They hope this will serve to remember their loved ones in a positive and uplifting way while helping community organisations. This is the Murphys way of saying thank you to the people of Erris who were there for them during their time of heartbreak and need.

The people of Erris, Mayo, all over Ireland, and even further afield were so supportive. The whole community rallied around the family and were there to provide us with whatever help we wanted our needed,” said the Murphy family.

The Murphy’s now feel the time is right to mark Niall and Tisha’s passing in a very special way.

We decided to create a fundraiser where our goal is to complete 20,000km during the month of July, by running, walking, or swimming the distance. All proceeds will be divided between Belmullet Tidal Pool and Ballyglass RNLI,” said the family. A GoFundMe page has been established with more than €7,000 raised so far.

Both organisations are close to the Murphys’ hearts.

We chose to fundraise for Belmullet Tidal Pool for a number of reasons. It is such a wonderful facility. Michelle Healy and her mum Liz provide water safety classes, swimming lessons and they are always highlighting the dangers of the water. These important lessons are at the core of the community. It is about highlighting to children from an early age how enjoyable and fun the water can be but also how dangerous and potentially life-threatening it can be.

We would also especially like to acknowledge Michelle Healy for the courage and bravery she showed on that tragic day on July 19, 2001. We thank you as a family Michelle and we commend you,” stated the family.

Ballyglass RNLI is an integral part of community life in Erris and the Murphys praised them for their selfless efforts.

They are the first responders when it comes to people or vessels getting into difficulties in the water. Erris and North Mayo is very lucky to have them. They work as volunteers often in dangerous and difficult circumstances and we would like to raise awareness of the incredible work this organisation does and thank them for their amazing efforts.”

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