Deirdre Darcy-Hogan, the Aglish native who inspired an entire community

October 20, 2023

Garda Deirdre Darcy-Hogan (1963 - 2022) was known for her generosity and community work. As a juvenile youth liaison officer, she worked hard to help keep coming-of-age kids out of the criminal justice system and helped raise money to found the Foróige Centre on Banba Square in Nenagh, which opened in 2021. During her long fight with cancer, Deirdre organised a local auction with the Aglish Sociable Ladies that raised a whopping €53.000 for the North Tipperary Hospice and the Suaimhneas Cancer Support Centre based in Nenagh. When she passed away on October 30, 2022, in spite of terrible autumn weather, locals turned out in force to say farewell to a beloved community member who’d done so much for them. 

Now, as the first anniversary of her passing approaches, loved ones prepare to run the 2023 Dublin city marathon to raise money in her memory for the Irish Cancer Society and North Tipperary Hospice.

Deirdre Darcy - Hogan

Run Republic spoke to Aglish-native Brian Hogan about the Darcy Hogan Cancer Fund’s ongoing fundraising drive. His brother Eamonn Hogan had just run his 15th consecutive marathon in 2022 – and planned for it to be his last – but hearing Brian wanted to sign up, Eamonn agreed to do one more. Then came a dilemma:

“I said I’d sign up for the Dublin marathon,” said Brian, “and [Eamonn] said that he wouldn’t hang up his runners just yet... At that point we realised that this year’s marathon was going to fall on our sister-in-law’s anniversary, and at first we were thinking to call it off and not proceed. And after a little bit of more thought, [we decided that] actually, it’s probably the best way to mark her first anniversary, with a fundraiser and to run the marathon for that cause.”

A few conversations later and their brother Vincent “Vinnie” Hogan was also in, along with Deirdre’s brother, Tom McGrath, and one of her work friends, Garda Sergeant Regina McCarthy. Prior to signing up for the Dublin City Marathon, Regina and Brian had only run one full marathon each, but for Vinnie and Tom it would be a first.

Running wouldn’t be the only means of fundraising, either: Deirdre’s husband Noel headed a fundraising committee that’s hosted several successful events, from table quizzes and poker nights to social evenings and a Monster Auction – with all proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society and North Tipperary Hospice.

“The auction that came around this time was bigger and better.” There were so many lots up for auction that it “went from 2 o’clock in the afternoon right through till 7pm that evening. It was a fantastic success.”

“After Deirdre’s loss, being involved with the fundraiser has helped all of us, I think, through helping a worthwhile cause in a meaningful way.”

“All of us running the marathon have also had our sponsorship cards in circulation over the past few months, with all names in for a chance to win some big prizes. The draw will take place in Paddy’s Bar Terryglass on the 25th November, and this will conclude the series of fundraising events that took place over the year.”

With so many novice runners, they coordinated their long training runs together. Brian shared a little about their journey training for the marathon.

“For some of us, a marathon run was not on our radar and seemed a mammoth task; however, to support the cause we signed up! Balancing marathon training with other commitments wasn't easy, but we started to train early in the year and with a gradual buildup the distance became less daunting. Over the months we each had our various niggles to overcome, but now just 2 weeks out from the start we are all ready and really looking forward to the challenge.”

Training for the marathon and helping with fundraising events has helped the group to meet as an extended family much more often than they ordinarily would have.

“We’re dotted around different parts of the country. None of us live too close, but we arranged to meet up for our long runs as much as possible. Usually on a Saturday we’d congregate at home [Aglish], kick off from there, and recover with a cup of tea and some food afterwards. That has all only come about because of our training.”

Fundraising has also introduced Deirdre’s loved ones to many other stories of loss. Since each runner has a sponsorship card, they’ve heard countless stories from people who may never have known Deirdre, but for whom fighting cancer is a common cause.

“It’s been heartwarming to see how many people are enthusiastic about supporting the cause – and so many complete strangers.”

With the Dublin City Marathon less than two weeks away, there’s still time to support the runners’ fundraising campaign for Irish Cancer Society and North Tipperary Hospice. To donate, visit the fundraiser’s GoFundMe page. And if you have a story about your own loss that you’d like to share, please share it in the “words of support” section after your donation – the family and friends of the Darcy Hogan Cancer Fund will surely be touched to hear it.

Related News