Stanthorpe’s Valerie Patane plays with her daughter Clare, in the horses water trough filled with a donated pallet of water. Water donations continue to flow in, with the latest set to arrive courtesy of three Irish expats. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen
Stanthorpe’s Valerie Patane plays with her daughter Clare, in the horses water trough filled with a donated pallet of water. Water donations continue to flow in, with the latest set to arrive courtesy of three Irish expats. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen

Luck of the Irish: Trio deliver golden help

DROUGHT support has no boundaries or nationality, as evidenced by the continued backing from people from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe.

The latest cohort to reach out and offer assistance to the Granite Belt, comes in the shape of some Irish expats.

What began as a simple idea to conjure up support through a GoFundMe Page, has taken off and ‘blown away’ those behind it.

Initially setting a target of $10,000, they’ve reached more than $42,000 and will conduct a drought run to Stanthorpe on December 21.

Kieran O’Brien, Richard Linehan and Louise Linehan are the Irish contingent behind the idea, with Mr O’Brien saying they wanted to do something to repay Aussies who’ve supported them.

“I had friends in Sydney who were involved in the Sydney to Armidale water run,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I was meant to be doing that one but I ended up moving back up here to Brisbane for work.

“I’m good friends with Richard and Louise and we got talking on the phone one evening and Richard said to me ‘would I be interested in doing one up here?’.

Richard and Louise Linehan (pictured) will join Kieran O'Brien on the drought run to Stanthorpe.
Richard and Louise Linehan (pictured) will join Kieran O'Brien on the drought run to Stanthorpe.

“It just kicked off from there. We set a goal of $10,000 which at the time we didn’t think we were going to get.

“Put in a few calls to Irish blokes, Irish companies, Aussie companies. We knew we had a few contacts there lying around.

“But in the end a few people jumped on board and we got a lot of big sponsors.

“Next thing it just blew out of the water,” he said.

With that money they’ll be purchasing drinking water, stock water, and 20 ton of food for pets and livestock.

On Saturday, December 21 they’ll be rolling into the Stanthorpe Showgrounds.

“I’m a truck driver myself and seen a lot of the Outback,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Getting around the place, it just brings a tear to your eye how hard people are doing it.

“We were lucky enough to come over to this country so we just wanted to give something back.”

He said the group will get this run out of the way and then discuss whether to do another some time next year.

The trio have linked up with Southern Downs Regional Council and Granite Belt Drought Assist to disperse the donations.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/Brisbane-Irish-SEQLD-Drought-Run-105276097609902/