Family Life

Stars say happy 30th birthday Barretstown at Big Picnic celebrations

Main feature image: Hannah Gregg pictured at the Barretstown Big Picnic 30th Birthday Celebration

Well-known Irish personalities joined thousands of visitors at Barretstown for a magical day to celebrate the charity’s 30th birthday at the annual Big Picnic event.

Barretstown is Ireland’s largest provider of life-changing therapeutic programmes for children affected by cancer and other serious illnesses.

Footballer Brid Stack with Carthach Keane and
children Carthach Og  & Seaghna

This special 30th birthday themed ‘Big Picnic’, in association with Brady Family Ham aims to raise vital funds for the charity while allowing visitors to experience the unique magic of Barretstown.

Sarah Morrissey and her daughter Sadie

The Castle gates opened for an action-packed day of birthday celebrations with visitors enjoying a host of exciting events and activities including the spectacular Fossett's Circus, trapeze artists, face-painting, music, dance and much more!

Rosalind Lipsett and her son Theo

Well-known personalities spotted singing ‘Happy Birthday’ as Barretstown CEO, Dee Ahearn, cut the official birthday cake included, model and broadcaster Glenda Gilson; RTÉ Radio One’s Sarah McInerney; model Rosalind Lipsett; influencer Niamh de Brún-Reid and her husband Kilkenny hurler, TJ Reid as well as model Sarah Morrissey and her ex-footballer husband Pat Jennings Jr.

Glenda Gilson & Rob McNaughton with sons Bobby & Danny

Visitors were also given the opportunity to tour the Barretstown facilities and meet staff and volunteers to witness first-hand the life-changing work carried out by the specialised on-site teams.

Commenting, Barretstown CEO Dee Ahearn said:

“On behalf of all the team at Barretstown, I would like to sincerely thank all those who attended our special Big Picnic to mark our 30th anniversary.

“Over the last 30 years we have served over 120,000 campers through our dedicated programmes here at Barretstown and we can commit to doubling that by the end of this decade equating to over 250,000 seriously ill children and their families who will experience our services.

Shane Hyland & Claire Hyland from Prosperous, Co Kildare

“Special events such as this provide a unique opportunity to highlight the vital work carried out by Barretstown to support children affected by cancer and other serious illnesses, while demonstrating why continued support is so important to underpin the delivery of our therapeutic programmes.

“The services provided here are a core pillar of national health policy, and play an important role in helping children rebuild, emotionally, physically and mentally from the impact of a serious illness. By attending and supporting events like the Big Picnic, people are provided with a first-hand opportunity to see the impact of their support and what it means.”

For more information or to learn how to support Barretstown visit

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