Step Up for SEMRA raises vital funds for mountain rescue group

Photo courtesy of Siúl Eile Facebook page

A virtual fundraiser, which saw people from across South Tipperary and further afield take part, raised more than €5,000 for South Eastern Mountain Rescue.

The Step Up for SEMRA fundraiser was organised jointly by the Rhododendron Walking Festival and Siúl Eile, as a way to give back to the charity who do so much for walkers and hikers.

People walked a distance of their choice, shared a picture on social media and made a donation online.

Founder of Siúl Eile and a committee member of the Rhododendron Walking Festival, Liam Fleming said it was a great success.

“We handed over just over €5,000 last weekend after our Step Up for SEMRA campaign. It was a virtual walk, actually over the Easter weekend, so we just put the word out there to all our walkers between the Rhododendron Walking Festival and Siúl Eile groups and we just got a tremendous response.”

“I suppose we don’t know the official number who took part, it was all voluntary donations, but hundreds definitely took part.”

He added that the Rhododendron Walking Festival itself couldn’t go ahead due to Covid restrictions, but the members wanted to give something back to SEMRA who do so much.

“They do tremendous work, they’re on call 365 days a year, 24/7, anyone who gets into difficulty on the hills, they are ready at the drop of a hat and will come and help people who are in trouble.”

The committee hope that the Rhododendron Walking Festival will be back for the June bank holiday weekend next year.