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NEWS > Charity Sector News > Giddy Up the Hill for Jack and Jill!

Giddy Up the Hill for Jack and Jill!

Retired National Hunt jockey Nina Carberry joins forces with the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation to announce special ‘Up the Hill’ event to celebrate the charity’s founder, Jonathan Irwin

The annual flagship fundraiser Up the Hill for the Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation is back for its 10th year and to mark this milestone anniversary, the charity is calling on people to take on their own Up the Hill challenge to celebrate someone special to them.

To kick start a summer of Up the Hill fundraising events, the charity is organising an extra-special Up the Hill evening walk at the Curragh Racecourse on Friday, June 21st to celebrate its pioneering founder, Jonathan Irwin, who passed away last December.  

Speaking at the launch, Jonathan’s wife Mary Ann O’Brien said: “It is very poignant to know that friends, families and supporters will be walking The Curragh to celebrate Jonathan on June 21st, the summer solstice, as it also happens to be his birthday.  Jonathan was so passionate about Jack and Jill and the many wonderful families supported by the charity over the years. One of his favourite racing venues, The Curragh, is the perfect setting to celebrate Jonathan and I encourage people all over Ireland to take on their own Up the Hill challenge this summer, whether they’re at home or overseas, to raise funds and help support families when they need it the most.”

Former Champion Jockey, Dancing with the Stars 2022 Winner and member of the coaching panel on RTÉ One’s show Ireland’s Fittest Family, Nina Carberry, commented: “Everyone involved in racing knew Jonathan. He was a larger-than-life character and a true inspiration, having founded Jack and Jill, despite his immense grief.  I am very proud to be part of the Up the Hill walk to celebrate Jonathan’s incredible legacy at The Curragh on June 21st, and I would really encourage people across Ireland to take some inspiration from this event for their own Up the Hill climb to celebrate someone special in their lives.  We have such a beautiful country, it’s a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors while helping raise vital funds to support over 400 Jack and Jill families in communities all over Ireland.”

Whilst the Curragh event celebrates Jonathan Irwin, the charity is asking people to host their own events this summer to celebrate someone special to them.  “We are constantly in awe of the families we support,” said Jack and Jill CEO Deirdre Walsh. “Up the Hill is a great way for friends, families, communities and colleagues to come together and celebrate someone who inspires them.  Just pick a challenge that suits you and your fitness levels – from mountain tops to forest walks; anything goes! It’s a wonderful opportunity to take some time out to reflect on those who inspire you, while helping to raise funds to keep our vital service going, which has been a lifeline for over 3,000 families since 1997. Jonathan’s remarkable legacy that we are so proud to celebrate. We are especially grateful to our wonderful partners Abbott for their continued support of Up the Hill. This is the third year Abbott has sponsored this campaign and with their support, we hope to have a wonderful summer of adventure-filled fundraising!”

Conor Murphy, Longford site director, Abbott, commented, “this partnership reflects a shared commitment to helping local communities and Abbott is proud to be once again partnering with Jack and Jill and supporting their Up the Hill campaign. This is now our third year of being involved and we are constantly inspired by Jack and Jill’s commitment to providing compassionate care to children and their families right across Ireland. We are excited to contribute to their vital work once again this year and are looking forward to seeing our brilliant colleagues climb the hills and mountains of Ireland in solidarity with Jack and Jill families across the country.”

Jack and Jill’s own Up the Hill to celebrate Jonathan Irwin will take place at The Curragh on Friday, 21st June from 7pm and all are welcome to join special evening. Tickets are €18 per person.  A ticket for a family of two adults and children under 16 years is €25 and all can be purchased via

Those who are inspired and would like to host their own Up the Hill walk or hike to celebrate a loved one this summer can also visit to register and receive a fundraising pack complete with an Up the Hill banner and bandana.

All funds raised will help continue Jonathan’s legacy of supporting and empowering families to care for their child at home with in-home nursing and respite care, because there is no care like home care for a Jack and Jill child.

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