Not for the first time this year have weather conditions impacted upon major events. Owing to high winds last night, the organisers of Kildare Relay for Life at Punchestown Racecourse were forced to cancel today's event.
Peter O'Neill of Kildare Relay for Life stated at 3am this morning, on advice from the company who had erected the marquee and hospitality tents, they were forced to take down the marquees and cancel today's event.
"High winds began to rise last night and we had six large tents that were seriously threatened by the gales. We were either going to have to remove the roofs ourselves or they would simply have been whipped off by the wind and blown away.
"At 3am, the decision was made to cancel today's event, in the interests of health and safety".
Relay For Life is a 24 hour community event which celebrates people who have survived a cancer diagnosis, and to remember those lost to the disease whilst bringing the community together to Fight Back against cancer.
Yesterday, crowds flocked to the venue at Punchestown, in what is becoming an increasingly popular event year on year.
The other purpose of Relay for Life is that it gives teams from various towns an opportunity to raise funding in aid of cancer support services.
"We had a lovely evening last night" said Peter. "Great crowds in for the celebration ceremony at 8.30pm. Right up to midnight, people were still arriving and doing laps. It had been cool but the weather held, until the winds started to rise.
"There was a huge amount of work carried out in advance of the event, from pre-planning to set-up; the teams had worked so hard - this is so disappointing for them. Relative merchandise was on sale last night to raise funds, as were freshly baked goods. This is just so disappointing for them all".
Mr O'Neill added he'd like to commend all the volunteers and teams for their commitment and workload. "This is unfortunate but we just have to take it on the chin and look forward to planning for next year". He also acknowledged the support of the many people who attended yesterday's event and added he knew how disappointing it was for so many other families who would have attended today.
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