The RTÉ People in Need Telethon
¤7.5 million raised By the RTÉ People in Need Telethon
supported by eircom
New estimates reveal that over ¤7.5 million has been raised by the Irish public during this year's RTÉ People in Need Telethon supported by eircom. The money was raised through donations made during the Telethon broadcasts on RTÉ One and RTÉ Two today, as well as from RTÉ's charity reality show Celebrities Go Wild, which aired on RTÉ One this week. In addition, donations poured in from the thousands of fundraising events that took place around the country since the campaign was launched in July. All funds raised will be distributed to charities and community groups around Ireland, with money raised in each county going back into that county.
Presented by Bláthnaid Ni Chofaigh and Ryan Tubridy, the RTÉ People in Need Telethon tonight featured the talents of a host of RTÉ names, including Charlie Bird in disguise, Pat Kenny in the Podge and Rodge line of fire, Caroline Morahan and Grainne Seoige in uncharacteristic song, as well as the talents of Pamela Flood, Tom McGurk, Lucy Kennedy, Aidan Power and Anna Nolan. Broadcasting from RTÉ's Stage B and Studio 4 facilities, there were also four regional centres this evening, with Geri Maye in Sligo, Will Leahy in Limerick and Shane O'Donoghue in Cork.
Says Michael Kealy, Executive Producer for RTÉ: "Tonight's programmes, as well the Young People's Telethon which aired on RTÉ Two from 2.30pm, have been an outstanding success. We've achieved our goal of entertaining the nation while raising a truly astonishing amount of money for people in need all over the country."
Margaret Heffernan, founding director of People in Need, is extremely pleased with the amount raised. "I am delighted that the Telethon has raised so much money. The People in Need Trust is delighted at the response to our appeal for funds to help charities all over the country. Hundreds of small charities will directly benefit from People in Need grants and once again the Irish people have surpassed themselves with their generosity."
Clare Duignan, Director of Programmes, RTÉ Television, says: "Telethon was a unique opportunity for RTÉ to assist communities across the nation, partnering local initiatives in a way that has real meaning for real lives. From RTÉ Television to RTÉ Radio, RTÉ News and Current Affairs to RTÉ.ie and RTÉ Publishing -- 10c from each copy of the Telethon RTÉ Guide went to People In Need -- RTÉ harnessed all of its resources in a cross-media initiative that has gone on to raise ¤7.5 million for People in Need."
During the 2007 campaign thousands of events were organised by individuals and groups throughout the country, including the world's first ever static triathlon (Ironman distance) which took place on Dublin's Grafton Street today, a fashion show in a circus tent in Cork organised by Weddings by Frank (aka Peter Kelly) and an event organised by a group of Polish volunteers who cycled the distance from Dublin to Poland on exercise bikes.
This year's Telethon campaign was one of the most enjoyable ever, according to Cathal Magee, Managing Director of eircom. "It's great to see that the Irish public is as supportive of People in Need now as it was when the Telethon first began in 1988. We at eircom are proud of our association with the Telethon and have once again enjoyed being part of such a worthwhile campaign that will help so many people."
Since its inception in 1988, over ¤42.5 million has been raised by the People in Need Trust through the RTÉ People in Need Telethon, supporting a wide variety of charitable organisations nationwide.