Neil Manley Solicitors, Dublin 2
– – – – – Our Charities – – – – –
At Neil Manley Solicitors, we take an active and serious interest in the needs of our local community. Not a single day goes by that we don’t pause for a short time to reflect on the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves.
I believe giving back to the community and supporting local charities is an important moral duty for any person in today’s fast paced society.
With the New Year upon us, my firm hopes to make a worthwhile contribution to some of our local charities and community based organisations in 2017.
Our 2017 Charity of Choice is…
The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust
When news first filtered through in June 2013 about the tragic death of Kevin Bell, time did literally stand still for a time.
I had last spoken to Kevin in the winter of 2013 when he attended for pre-season training at my local GAA club, Newry Mitchels GFC, along with his father Colin and brother Brendan. Kevin was a typical lad in his 20’s, full of mischief and ambition but an absolute ‘gentleman’ in every sense of the word. As an older statesman on the team, it was hard not to be envious of a man who had his whole life in front of him and seemingly living life to the full. As we left the field that night, I shook hands with Kevin and wished him well on his travels and look forwarded to hearing the ‘banter’ on his return in the near future. Never did I suspect that would be the last time I would see or indeed speak to Kevin.
And so it unfortunately came to pass whilst Kevin had been out enjoying a night out with friends in the ‘big apple’, he was struck down in the prime of life, depriving a family, a club and a community of such a remarkable spirit. The scenes at the Bell family home in the days following Kevin’s death will live with me forever. A respected family within the community who’s lives had been turned upside down in the blink of an eye. To see the impact Kevin’s death had on his closest friends was testament to the regard in which he was held. I don’t think I have ever seen nor do I think I will ever see again such an outpouring of genuine emotion and grief at the passing of one man. But what a man Kevin was.
Following Kevin’s untimely death, the community of Newry and beyond rallied to provide financial support to the Bell family in an effort to repatriate Kevin’s remains to his late home. The reaction was astounding, with thousands of pounds raised to help a family in its hour of need and so the seeds for the charity were sewn.
For anyone privileged to know Colin, Eithne (Kevin’s parents) and the Bell family, you will be well aware that they are a very humble and unassuming family. I have been taught by Colin at school, played Gaelic football under his tutelage, lived beside the family as a neighbour and on occasion had the great pleasure of socialising with them, which might I add have been some of the best nights I have ever experienced. They truly are a remarkable family and it is indicative of their character that they would channel their energies into creating a trust to help others in need.
The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust was essentially established to assist Irish families (regardless of circumstances) with the repatriation of their loved one’s remains, when death occurred outside of the jurisdiction. It is perhaps only since Kevin’s passing and the establishment of the charity that people have begun to sit up and take notice of the huge financial burden that exists when a loved one dies abroad.
Remarkably, since the inception of the Trust, the charity has helped repatriate the remains of over 100 Irish citizens…a remarkable feat in such a short space of time.
For further information in respect of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, please see http://kevinbellrepatriationtrust.com/