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There was great excitement on Wednesday, Feb. 7th, when the Bumbleance arrived in the school grounds. We raised over €1,000 for the charity recently with our Hot Chocolate Day. The Bumbleance came to let the children see what it is like and to raise awareness of the work it does. On this occasion the driver was Jim Burke from Listowel and we were delighted to present him with our cheque.

Jim spoke to all the students and explained how the Bumbleance was first set up by the Heffernan family from Co. Kerry. Sadly, their two children, Saoirse and Liam, passed away from Batten’s Disease when they were only 5 years old.  (The Bee symbol of the Bumbleance came originally from the B for Batten’s Disease.) Having endured the long journeys from Kerry to Dublin and back for treatment for Saoirse and Liam, the Heffernans saw the need for a child-friendly and comfortable ambulance service for children and they set out to create this.

Now there are 7 Bumbleances on the road, and an 8th one is on the way. A Bumbleance helicopter service was established last year, based in Knock, Co. Mayo. It transfers critically ill children to hospitals around the country and even to the UK.   The goal is to have 45 Bumbleances on the road in the next 5 years so that every ambulance journey taken by a seriously ill child will be in a Bumbleance. See

All the classes then got to visit the Bumbleance and see inside it. To add to the excitement, an RTE crew came to record a feature about the event for News2day on RTE2. They took some footage in the Reading Class where they heard that the Hot Chocolate Fundraiser day was inspired by Ciara’s brother Dean’s journey home from Dublin last month in the Bumbleance. Outside they filmed our cheque being presented to Jim by the Reading Class, along with another cheque presented by Dean and Ciara’s dad, Mark.

The report was aired on RTE2 this afternoon and we were all very happy with it. Many thanks to presenter Tommy Meskill and cameraman Paschal Brooks, both from Ennis !

Here’s the link to the footage:

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