Barbara Krysiak, Emer Scally, Mairead Moran, Niamh Cronan, Jackie Cromer, Conor White, Simon O’ Brien and Sinead Buckley pictured marking World Down Syndrome Day in St Hilda’s Day Service, Coosan. Photo: Paul Molloy.

Almost 1,000 odd socks creates a colourful Coosan spectacle

When Ballymore's Emer Scally expressed a wish to organise an event to mark World Down Syndrome Day at St Hilda's Coosan Day Service, she could hardly have envisaged close to a 1,000 colourful odd socks blowing in the wind!

The traditional way of marking World Down Syndrome Day is for everyone to wear odd socks, but Team Leader with the Coosan Day Service of St Hilda's, Sinead Buckley, said they decided to go “one better” and asked all service users and their families and friends to donate an odd sock on March 21 last.

“Emer had told us her goal was the celebrate World Down Syndrome Day when we had a meeting with her and her mum, Assumpta, so between us we came up with the idea of getting as many odd socks as possible and displaying them right around our building,” explained Sinéad.

The staff and service users then set to work to work painting a number of colourful sticks which were fashioned into a long clothesline to display all the odd socks. “We ended up with nearly 1,000 odd socks and we displayed them on the day right around our building here in Coosan." Parents and friends of the service brought along a wonderful display of baked goods and many of those who donated a sock also donated €1, which resulted in the celebration day raising over €600 for the Friends of St Hilda's.

Emer Scally is a past-pupil of St Hilda's and is now one of five service users who avail of the Coosan Day Service. Sinéad Buckley paid tribute to Emer and her mum for being the catalyst for the unusual and colourful fundraiser to mark World Down Syndrome Day. The staff even organised a colourful ribbon which Emer was invited to cut to welcome all visitors to the centre on the day of the fundraiser!

“We had a wonderful day here in Coosan, and the sight of almost 1,000 socks on a very long clothesline was just magical,” said Sinéad, who also paid tribute to everyone who made a donation on the day.