Anamcara newsletter 2016

July 18, 2016

Download Anam Cara Newsletter July 2016, or read below.

Local Group Focus: Donegal

By Ciara Gallagher – Volunteer Parent
Anam Cara Donegal is a small group, probably by virtue of the size and infrastructure of the county. The group meets on the second Thursday of each month from September to June in the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny. Stella McCole, the group’s professional co-facilitator, is assisted each month by either Maeve McHardy or myself. We have a small core of parents who attend regularly with many more who drop in when they need support through a significant mile-stone. We look forward to launching the Anam Cara Information Pack in Septem-ber, which will help us grow awareness of the of Anam Cara in County Donegal.

New Partnerships

northern irelandAnam Cara is committed to building partnerships in the community to ensure bereaved parents are supported throughout the island of Ireland. We are delighted to announce our partnership with Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. Together we hosted three Bereavement Information Evenings in Antrim and Fer-managh along with our event in Armagh. We look forward to working with the NICH later this year and in 2017. These events are open to all bereaved parents.

This Autumn we aim to increase our geographic reach by establishing the Anam Cara Midlands group to in Mullingar, along with Anam Cara West Cork group in Bantry.

Amazing fundraising efforts

Larry O Sullivan— Representing Anam Cara Tipperary at Cycle Against Suicide

Larry O Sullivan— Representing Anam Cara Tipperary at Cycle Against Suicide

A huge thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts of Anam Cara supporters in the first six months of this year. Especially: 

  • Everyone who ran or walked for Team Anam Cara in this year’s VHI Women’s Mini Marathon
  • Michelle Ronan in West Cork who has single-handedly raised over €11,000 (and counting!) for Anam Cara through a host of imagina-tive events, to end in October on Mount Everest!
  • Gillian and Ian Baird in Donegal whose ‘It’s a Knockout’ event in Castlefinn, held in memory of their daughter Anna, was a huge success raising over €30,000 for Barretstown and Anam Cara
  • Jackie Crowley and Colette Griffin in Cork for organizing another great coffee morning in memory of Colette’s daughter Sarah
  • Kate Burke and the team who donated this year’s proceedings from the annual De la Salle Palmerston ‘Salmo’ Ladies Lunch to Anam Cara

Volunteers Needed! 

We are starting early this year and there will be a bag pack on Saturday17th September in Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt.

If you can donate us 2 hours of your time please contact Clodagh on or call 085 2888 888.

In November/December there will be a bag packs taking place near you as they are Anam Cara’s biggest fundraiser for the year… Please support us so we can support bereaved parents throughout Ireland.

Only 2 hours is what we need and all offers of help very appreciated. If you know any students or schools that would help out better again. Thank you

As the Anam Cara groups take a short break throughout July and August, we would like to thank our volunteer parents who give so generously of their time throughout the year and the professionals connected to the groups for their continued support of Anam Cara.

Thanks to our kind sponsors…

Anam Cara is seeking corporate sponsor to support our services to for be-reaved parents & families. Any contacts or ideas, please let us know to

In the last six months are grateful for the kind and generous support of the following companies and organisations:

  • The Healy Group
  •  Nightline
  •  B. Braun
  •  Adam’s Cloud
  •  Lush Cosmetics
  •  South Dublin County Council
  •  Ervia
  •  Medtronics
  •  Microsoft Ireland
  •  Actavis
  •  Irish Stock Exchange
  •  Astellas Ireland
  •  Cork Street Fund
  •  Lush Ireland

Anam Cara is committed to compliance with the Governance Code for community, voluntary and charitable organisations in Ireland. Anam Cara is also signed up to the statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising and is registered and up to date with the Charities Regulatory Authority.

Remembering Together

Paul and Caroline Flaherty Anam Cara Galway

Paul and Caroline Flaherty Anam Cara Galway

In Galway on June 1st a stone bench for bereaved families was unveiled in the ‘Circle of Life’Garden in Salthill. Thanks to Martina and Denis Gog-gin for giving us this peaceful sanctuary where we can sit and just be how we want to be.

Anam Cara Information Packs

Delighted with the response to our Information Packs. Currently 9K packs have been distributed throughout the island of Ireland. If you would like a copy, contact

Anam Cara 2016 #Daddyandme Campaign 

Thank you to Leinster and Irish rugby international Ailis Egan, Benji and the Bennet Family and Curley Family for their support of this special campaign to commemorate Fathers Day.


Anam Cara Information Pack

October 11, 2015

To address the shortfall in information for bereaved parents throughout Ireland, Anam Cara has produced a suite of information booklets.  A huge thanks to the parents connected to Anam Cara groups throughout Ireland who contributed to this resource.  The following topics are covered…

  • A mum’s grief
  • A dad’s grief
  • Coping with the sudden death of my child
  • Milestones and challenges
  • Self care
  • Supporting my family
  • Adults grieving the death of a brother or sister

Anam Cara National Bag Pack November/December 2016

January 13, 2014

More than 1,000 volunteers will put on their Anam Cara t-shirt’s and help us with our 2016 National Bag Pack in Dunnes Stores throughout Ireland throughout November and December.

Would you like to help us and have a couple of hours to spare? We would be delighted and all you need to do is contact us on 085 2888 888 or drop an email to

All funds raised from these fundraisers will go towards the running costs of the local Anam Cara Group.


Anam Cara’s Video Resource

This has been a busy year for Anam Cara with the launch of our information resources for bereaved parents. These include a series of short videos and our information pack.

If you would like a copy of the Anam Cara information packs please contact us at or call either 01 4045378 or 085 2888 888.

If you are living in Northern Ireland you can call 028 9521 3120

Anam Cara and the Ladies Mini Marathon

July 3, 2013

Monday 3rd June, a beautiful summer afternoon and the streets of Dublin are full of ladies wearing an array of colours representing the many charities from all over Ireland who took part in the 2014 Flora’s Womens Mini Marathon. This included 50+ gorgeous girls who chose to take part in this event for Anam Cara.

Thank You All, ye were brilliant and hope to see you in Doheny and Nesbitts again next year!

Anam Cara Dublin’s 2012 fundraising lunch

November 24, 2012

Anam Cara Dublin’s 2012 fundraising lunch took place on Friday 23rd of November at Saba Restaurant in Dublin. It was a great day, supported by many companies including Bord Gais, Vodafone, Deloitte Touche, Eddie Rockets and O Driscoll / O Neill Insurances and the many friends of Anam Cara who come together each year to help us raise the funds for our online and face to face services.

In particular we want to thank our kind and generous sponsors of the spot prizes for our raffle. After Saba’s yummy food, it is the highlight of the day!

Thank You

October 5, 2012

Anam Cara would like to thank Benji Bennett for nominating Anam Cara to be the beneficiary of his latest book Adam’s Greatest Inventions’, we are absolutely delighted. Please visit Benji’s website at to find out more about Anam Cara’s adventures.

Adolescent and Adult Sibling Loss

April 5, 2011

“The sibling relationship is more complex than nearly any other, a mixture of affection and ambivalence, camaraderie and competition. Aside from our parents, there is no one else on earth who knows us better, because like our parents, our brothers and sisters have been beside us from the very beginning. Unlike our parents, however, our siblings are people we assume will be part of our lives for the rest of our lives. In terms of the span of time, the intimacy, and the shared experience of childhood, no other relationship rivals the connection we have with our adult brothers or sisters”
(Ref. TJ Wray Adult Sibling Loss)

Losing a sibling at any stage of the life span can be one of the most devastating events we will ever have to face and although this loss may be shared with other family members the manner in which it is supported may vary greatly. While Parents partners and children of the deceased may be prioritised as mourners and receive acknowledgement and social support, bereaved siblings may experience a shortfall in the social support available to them. Very often their unique loss goes unacknowledged and undifferentiated from the experience of the family as a whole.

At the same time as they are experiencing these deficits in social support, demands may be made on bereaved siblings to put aside their own grief in order to be available to and support their parents and surviving siblings. Bereaved siblings may wish to absorb their parents burdens even though they may be iillequipped to deal with the extent of the demands placed on them. The reversal of role involved in being required to buttress your own parents against the impact of the loss of their child can be overwhelming. They can often find themselves called on to fill the shoes of their dead sibling in the family script. The consequent disruption of identity can be extremely damaging and has the capacity to pose serious challenges to the individuals self concept. These disruptions combined with the shattering of any assumptions beliefs or expectations of what their life was and would be, can contribute to an altered worldview. Overall their loss can be described as disenfranchised. (Disenfranchised Grief; which in simple terms means that society fails to classify siblings’ grief as a legitimate loss.

When society fails to validate the grief and sadness of bereaved siblings, they may not receive the support needed to cope and adjust to their loss. In the absence of confidence that their grief may get a hearing they may opt to keep their feelings to themselves and may even invalidate their own bereavement need. In having to struggle alone with their loss they may be susceptible to medical difficulties with their grief.

Anam Cara aims to address this shortfall in support for bereaved siblings in collaboration with other organisations.

Anam Cara recognises that currently in Ireland, there is little literature available for bereaved siblings, and even less support.

As a bereaved sibling commented “When my only brother died after a brief illness at the age of 43, my initial response was to search for information that would help me make sense out of such a terrible loss. I felt a special need to connect with other surviving siblings who might understand my grief. Perhaps they could offer me some insight, some comfort, some practical advice that would help me through those first difficult weeks and months. I wanted to know: How had they survived this?”

The introduction of an online secure message forum specifically for adult siblings has been designed and developed by steering committee of bereaved siblings and will be launched this coming Autumn by Anam Cara.