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Saoirse Women’s Refuge Dublin man runs 1,403km in fundraiser for 'amazing' women's refuge charity

Mark Connon (38) has been running for the last 14 years raising funds for charities such as Pieta House, the Simon Community, and the Irish Cancer Society.

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Mark Connon

Mark Connon

Mark Connon

A Dublin man is raising money for a women’s refuge charity after running 1,403km in a Last Man Standing competition.

Mark Connon (38), from Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, has been running for the last 14 years raising funds for charities such as Pieta House, the Simon Community, and the Irish Cancer Society.

Last weekend, he emerged victorious in Saoirse Women’s Refuge’s Last Man Standing competition, covering 1,403km over 77 days to raise much-needed funds for the charity.

Mark explained that he was inspired to raise money for the non-profit organisation after meeting with Paula Garry, Saoirse’s Assistant Manager of Childcare Services and Nadine O’Brien, their Outreach and Prevention Manager.

“This is an amazing charity that I’ve run for, Saoirse Women’s Refuge. It’s a domestic abuse helpline and domestic violence services,” he told sundayworld.com.

“I was talking to the two girls there and visited the place, and just seeing the work that they do... Basically, since lockdown they’ve been receiving more calls to their emergency helpline day in, day out.

“There’s been an increase in calls looking for refuge. There’s been an increase in emergencies and outreach... They just wanted to highlight that.”

The Dubliner added that the charity does extremely important work that he believes is not highlighted enough.

He said: “Me personally, I think it’s very important. It’s very close to me because I’ve seen it. I’ve witnessed it firsthand in jobs that I’ve done.

“It’s terrible. It actually makes me sick to my stomach to think about what kids and women go through in this country. It’s not highlighted enough to be honest.

“You see way too much of it on the streets and there should be a clamp down, tougher laws by the guards... If a woman goes into refuge and does decide to press charges, they’re afraid a lot of the time.”

Mark has a fundraising target of €5,000 and said that he’d “just love” for people to donate to the charity.

“At least with me raising funds, they are going into a place [where women will get] the best possible care,” he added.

Donations to Mark’s fundraiser can be made here.

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