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Mum's Belfast City Marathon honour

By Stephanie Bell

Two of just four special Belfast City Marathon merit awards are to be presented to Paula Delaney and her school team from St Bride’s Primary for their charity effort at this year’s event in memory of the Belfast mum’s tragic five-year-old son Emmett.

Despite her own terrible grief after son Emmie’s death in December, Paula selflessly decided to do the marathon to raise funds for New Life Counselling Service and the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

Her act at a time of such personal heartache touched those who knew her who rallied round in support, resulting in the biggest team of 320 people on the day.

Mums, teachers and pupils from St Bride’s Primary turned out in force, earning them the special merit award for the school with biggest number of marathon entrants. Emmie was a P1 pupil at the Belfast school while his brother Pearse (8) is currently in P5.

Paula’s devastated mum, Pauline Gorman who accidentally killed her grandson Emmie when she hit him with her car in the driveway of their home a week before Christmas, also took part in the marathon effort.

Together the team have so far raised over £20,000 for Paula’s charities, the bulk of which will go to New Life Counselling which has helped Paula, Pauline and Pearse cope with the trauma of Emmie’s death.

Said Paula: “I’m delighted the school has been recognised for all the hard work they have done and that Christine Kennedy – the teacher who started it all – will be able to attend the ceremony along with Emmie’s nursery teacher and P1 teacher and others who took part.

“When I started this off I wanted to raise £5,000 and to now have £21,000 is just phenomenal.

“It is going to make such a difference to New Life Counselling, which is not a mainstream charity. It’s a tribute to everyone for their fantastic support.”

Two other merit awards will be presented at tonight’s ceremony in Belfast’s Premier Inn.

Wellington College will pick up the award for the organisation with the biggest relay team and the award for the most original team name will go to Scrambledlegsnachin.

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