Newtown community races to support ‘Diddler’


A mighty charity challenge has begun in Newtowncunningham in support of one of the village’s most popular residents – Paul ‘Diddler’ Dillon.

Locals have all come together to help Diddler, the local butcher and a well-known runner, during a time of illness.

Three action-packed days of events are planned for mid-February to raise funds for Diddler and his family, with several spin-off fundraisers also scheduled over the next month.

Diddler, aged 45, was recently diagnosed with an illness which will require modifications to his family home.

Last week more than 180 people attended the first fundraising meeting to lend a helping hand to the dad-of-three.

A committee was soon formed to organised five major events from 13th-17th February in and around Newtowncunningham, including a country concert, 5K walk/run, dance, auction and tractor run.

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“That’s the beauty about small villages and towns – we come together when someone needs help,” said committee member Paul Canning.

A separate community-led fundraiser in Newtowncunningham last year raised €50,000 to help local mum Vanessa Donohoe. The committee for Diddler is equally confident that they can raise what’s needed to support him and his young family.

Diddler has always been an integral part of the community. He is known as a ‘character’ in the butcher’s and has been involved in soccer, GAA, the scouts and reignited the local athletic club.

“The amount of support that was offered at the meeting was phenomenal,” said Canning.

“We broke the meeting into five sections to plan five events and we have a lot of attachment functions going on. The community spirit is there. We want to get the build started now to make life more comfortable for the family,” he added.

Fundraising events include:

Wednesday 13th February
Monster Charity Concert – An Grianan Hotel Burt

Friday 15th February
Come Dine with Me
25 Card Drive – Biddy Friel’s

Saturday 16th February
Dash for Diddler 5K Walk/Run @ Columbian Hall Newtowncunningham
Biddy Friel’s Dance and Auction

Sunday 17th February
Tractor Run (Newtowncunningham)
Carrigans Group Cycling

All are welcome to attend and support events during the ‘Weekend Challenge for Diddler’ in February. Anyone who wants to make a donation is asked to message the committee on Facebook here:…

To find out more about all fundraising events click here: ‘Weekend Challenge Committee Page For Diddler’

Rachel McLaughlin is the editor of our sister site,

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