Betty’s tribute to grandson

Betty Malone, Kildare signed jersey to be auctioned for the CRY charity Photo. Jimmy Fullam.
Padre Pio legend , Betty Malone has launched a CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) fund raiser in honour of her grandson Johnny who died three years ago.

Padre Pio legend , Betty Malone has launched a CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) fund raiser in honour of her grandson Johnny who died three years ago.

She remembers the morning of March 26 2010, as if it was yesterday.

“It was daffodil day of all days. Myself and Kathleen Dowling used to work religiously on it very year. That morning I knocked on his door. I got an awful feeling, something came over me. I said Johnny come on and get up. His eyes were closed and he wasn’t moving. You are never the same afterwards,” explained Betty.

“I rang the doctor, the ambulance and the priest, but the hardest phone call I had to make was to his mother, Marie.”

It transpired that Johnny had passed away from Sudden Adult Death syndrome (SAD). His family were all screened and received counselling and support from CRY.

“It’s a great organisation. They do such great work. You only appreciate it when you experience it yourself,” declared Betty.

To raise money for this charity, she is auctioning off a signed framed Kildare jersey. So far, she has a bid of €200 on the nostalgic Tegral kit. She thanked Rita Earley for the donation of the jersey, and Wheatfield Prison for the frame. Bids will be accepted up to July 27 and can be made by phoning Betty on 045 525094.

A photo of Johnny hangs proudly from the dresser at the Shindella home, his smile beaming out over his grandparents. The 21-year-old was staying with Betty and Joe when he passed away, helping out with the turf and various household jobs.

“He was so good to us. He was great company. He was so fit and active, so strong. He played loads of sport and he used to do a bit of running,” she said.

Friends and relatives of the Malone family raised over €3,000 for CRY by running the mini marathon in 2012. Betty has been a staunch fund raiser for many causes including the Irish Cancer Society. She even persuaded Monasterevin’s Fr. Liam Merrigan to jump out of a plane for charity in one of her parachute jump fund raisers.

Betty who regularly hosts the Padre Pio relic, is grandmother of 35 and has ten great grand children. “I would like to thank everyone who supported any of those fund raisers throughout the years. It is greatly appreciated.”

She is calling on any businesses or individuals, who would like the framed jersey to make contact.

- Niamh O’Donoghue