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Irish soldier to raise funds in Syria for Creeslough families in ‘tank-pulling’ race

‘Three of our Comrades serving within the defence forces lost family members in this terrifying disaster’

Stephen MaguireSunday World

A Donegal soldier serving overseas has come up with a unique idea to raise funds for those killed or injured in the Creeslough tragedy.

Corporal John Gallagher serves with the 66th Infantry Group UNDOF in Syria.

A native of Downings/Carrigart, John often visits the village at the centre of the explosion of October 7th in which ten people lost their lives.

Three of John's colleagues serving with the Defence Forces lost relatives when an explosion ripped through the heart of the town's Apple Green Service Station.

The 43-year-old soldier said he and his colleagues wanted to come up with a unique way to raise funds to help the victims of the tragedy.

Now John and his colleagues will literally put their shoulders to the wheel in a test of strength and endurance while remembering all those affected by the tragedy.

On January 17th next, three platoons will compete against each other by pulling an 18 tonne Mowag Piranha 3 Armoured Personnel Carrier over a distance of one hundred metres.

The teams competing include the 1st and 2nd mechanised platoons and CSG/RECCE and the team with the fastest time will be crowned the Strongest Platoon.

However, John said the most important thing is that as much money can be raised as possible for the victims of the tragedy.

He said "It's our way of honouring all those affected by this awful tragedy but also our small way of giving something back to that community which many of us know very well.

"Three of our Comrades serving within the defence forces lost family members in this terrifying disaster.

"This really brought it home to me and this is why myself and the members of the 66th Infantry Group UNDOF and would like to do something to offer our support and condolences to the people of Creeslough.

"We want to help Creeslough to move forward but also to let them know that they are in our thoughts and prayers."

The group has already surpassed its initial goal of €2,000 thanks to the kindness of people donating on their Go Fund Me page and would like to raise as much money as possible before the event on January 17th next.

John stressed that every cent raised will go towards the Creeslough Fund to help the families in any way.

If you would like to log onto the group's Go Fund Me page see:

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