Irish Defence Forces to run 100km on New Year’s Day for Jigsaw

December 17th 2019

Irish Defence Forces to run 100km on New Year’s Day for Jigsaw

On New Year’s Day 2020, eight members of the Engineer Section of the 60th Infantry Group currently deployed with UNDOF in Syria will run a collective 100km to raise awareness and funds for Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health. Kitted out in full military battle dress, the group will each carry 35lbs of weight to represent the weight of living with mental health issues.

Lead fundraiser Private Aaron Murray (28) from Finglas, Dublin said, “I decided to start this challenge to raise awareness of mental health and of the amazing work that Jigsaw does. I’ve personally struggled with my own mental health for most of my life, and unfortunately wasn’t aware of the services they provided. By doing this challenge, I hope we can help other young people who may be going through a difficult time so that they do not have to suffer like I once did.”

The 60th Infantry Group rotated into their mission area in the Syria on 1st Oct 2019. Since arriving the unit has conducted a number of operations in support of the United Nations mandate to observe the ceasefire between Israel and Syria and been involved in clearance operations to remove and make safe debris from the Syrian Civil War. In all 130 troops from all over the island of Ireland will remain in the mission area until early April when they will be relieved by their colleagues from Ireland and return home. 

The troops involved are Private Aaron Murray will be joined by Private Derek McMahon, Private Mark Fitzpatrick, Private Cathal Flaherty, Private Paul Byrne, Signalman Liam Killeen, Corporal Jonathan Carroll and Captain Shane Walsh. They have currently raised over €2,000 and you can help them raise their €4000 goal via their Everyday Hero fundraising page here.