Belfast Telegraph

Keady aims to dance into Macarena record books as tribute to fundraiser

Members of Keady’s Cancer Research fundraising team
Members of Keady’s Cancer Research fundraising team
Breda McAtavey with sisters Julie McGee and Anna McNally

By Adrian Rutherford

A Co Armagh town is limbering up to dance its way into the record books with the world's largest Macarena in memory of a woman who died from cancer.

The event in Keady this Sunday will raise cash for Cancer Research UK in tribute to Breda McAtavey.

The mother-of-four (50) was the driving force behind the town's last record bid, which saw 2,515 gather for a mass 'Rock the Boat'.

And now her family is determined to carry on her fundraising legacy with another big community event to help defeat the disease which claimed Breda's life. She passed away last August after a long battle against bowel cancer.

Her son Ryan (29), a Belfast-based architect, said: "We can't let her good work end, we have to keep it going.

"She was never happier than when she was running these foolish events and raising bucket-loads of cash for a good cause.

"Like most things, she took the cancer with humour and, as hard as it was to watch in the end, it was the only way she had to go, with the people she loved by her side.

"There isn't anyone on the planet who had the enthusiasm, passion or determination mum had so we would love support from everyone in the town and beyond."

The Macarena is a dance performed with exaggerated hip motion to a fast Latin rhythm.

Keady's previous record attempt was enough to defeat the reigning holders, Carrick-on-Shannon, with 1,701 people taking part in 2013, and raising almost £11,000.

Keady's organising committee decided not to register that attempt with Guinness due to the high costs of doing so.

But hopes are high the town can rally once more and smash the Macarena record, which currently belongs to Eggbuckland Community College in Plymouth.

They earned their place in the record books when 2,219 participants did the cult '90s dance for five minutes and 36 seconds.

And now Keady's committee - led by Ryan and his sisters Amy (26), Eve (20), and Mia (14) - are putting the finishing touches on their own record bid.

Ryan said: "We're hoping to smash the Macarena record since we managed to get more than 2,500 people to sit on the ground on a wet Sunday afternoon for the Rock the Boat attempt.

"We really hope people will come out and give us their support as my mum truly believed there would be no cure without the research."

Keady's record attempt takes place on Sunday at 2pm. There will also be a family fun day, barbecue and live music from noon to 6pm at the Tommy Makem Arts and Community Centre.

For more information, visit their Facebook page by searching for Maca-Breda.

Belfast Telegraph


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