THERE were no complaints at Dunnes Stores in Carlow last Saturday but those belonging in the book of a talented young Carlow girl.
Eleven-year-old Keeva Delaney from Ballycarney launched her book The Dolls’ Complaints, which is raising funds for Cliona’s Foundation.
All proceeds from the children’s book are going towards Cliona’s Foundation, which provides financial help to families of children with life-limiting illnesses.
Keeva received a rapturous welcome at the launch and expressed her gratitude to all who supported the book before gamely signing almost 200 copies.
“We were delighted with the launch, nothing really like it had been done before in Dunnes and we didn’t know what to expect,” said proud mum Maurita. “It was just amazing, she got a round of applause when she arrived in and there was just a great buzz. It was great to see so many friends and people there.”
The event drew a great turnout, including Shauntelle Tynan, whose family was assisted by Cliona’s Foundation, Carlow Rose Shauna Ray Lacey, mayor of Carlow Ken Murnane and senator Jennifer Murnane O’Connor.
Also in attendance were representatives of Dunnes Stores head office, demonstrating the chain’s support for the project.
The book is available at 40 Dunnes Stores outlets across Ireland and has already earned a fleet of celebrity endorsements.
Footballer Philly McMahon, singer Keith Duffy and TV presenter Baz Ashmawy have all taken to social media to push the book in recent times.
It’s planned to hold further book launches in Limerick and Dublin, with members of the Munster rugby squad and Keith Duffy set to make guest appearances.
Several other promotions are in the pipeline, too, and Maurita thanked IT Carlow lecturer Dorothy Keane and the digital marketing masters students working on the project.
Despite all the fanfare, Keeva is keeping her feet firmly on the ground.
“She is excited and very happy, but very much taking it all in her stride,” said Maurita. “She is delighted she is able to do it and that other people want to help as well.”
Cliona’s Foundation was founded by Limerick couple Terri and Brendan Ring following the death of their daughter.
Brendan spoke movingly at the launch about their experience and the financial challenges faced by families with sick children, from ensuring there was a fill of heating oil at home after a hospital stay, to having enough food in the fridge.
“He just connected with everyone in the room and said that it could be any one of us,” stated Maurita.
That point was poignantly driven home as Brendan was met by a local woman at the launch who received support from Cliona’s Foundation following the death of her daughter and wished to convey her appreciation.
The Dolls’ Complaints is available at Dunnes Stores, Graiguecullen or online for €8.
Sponsorship is being sought to fund an expanded production run and anyone who can help is asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.