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Senator takes a spin in a coffin…for charity

Limerick’s James Heffernan played dead for more than 40 minutes as locals guessed the identity of the “deceased”.

The 'coffin' was custom-made for the occasion by local men.
The 'coffin' was custom-made for the occasion by local men.
Image: Fiona Ryan

TWO MEN IN Limerick came up with a novel fundraising idea and coaxed local Senator James Heffernan to participate.

In what sounds like an episode from a black comedy (or maybe Father Ted), Heffernan agreed to spend about 40 minutes in a coffin as the people of Pallasgreen tried to guess his identity.

The event took place last Sunday and raised about €1,000 for the Brothers of Charity who operate a home for people with special needs in Doon.

While in the coffin, Senator Heffernan handed out clues to facilitate the locals’ guesses, which cost €2 a pop.

“It was an unusual – but great – idea,” Heffernan told TheJournal.ie. “Mind you, I wouldn’t like to have spent any longer in the box.”

To add some comedic affect to the idea, which may have been seen by some as to be in bad taste, the coffin was painted in the green and white colours of Limerick.

It was gas really,” said Heffernan. “I was loaded into the ‘coffin’ on the back of a pick-up truck. I was then shouldered across the road and into the Red Deer pub, where about 200 people were waiting.”

It certainly was a unique experience, he added.

“It was all in good fun and for a worthy cause,” said the 31-year-old, who is also a primary school teacher in the area.

Was there a winner in the end?

Three people guessed the local personality’s identity correctly.

“It was the only time I’ve seen a €50 prize given out in three €20s,” joked the Senator.

Senator takes a spin in a coffin…for charity
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