Keep Er Lit Truck Run in Aid of PIPS

A charity truck run is being held in Camlough near Newry in June to raise funds for the PIPS organisation, which delivers Suicide Prevention and Bereavement Support Services, Counselling and Therapies across Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland.

The ‘Keep Er Lit For PIPS Truck Run’ on Saturday June 4th is being staged in memory of Stephen Farrell on what will be the 10th anniversary of his passing.

From a young age Stephen showed a lot of interest in lorries.  He would travel the length and breadth of Ireland with his father John. In the evenings, Stephen would be often found in Convery’s yard shunting trailers and moving lorries for City West Transport.

Stephen got his HGV license in 2010. He had big plans for the future of JF Haulage. His first task was to get a lorry sign written so off to Conor Clarke Graphics he went. To this day you can still see his design on JF Haulage lorries.

2010 also saw the birth of Stephen’s son Callum; now aged 12, Callum is showing signs that trucking is in his blood and there is no doubt that he’ll be the 4th generation Farrell lorry driver.

It was on the morning of 6th June 2012 the news broke that Stephen had taken his own life at the young age of 23.  Over the next four days the tributes poured in for Stephen.  He got the send off that he truly deserved.  The roads were lined with lorries and before he left the Chancellors Road, the cortège paused for a moment while he got an air horn salute.

Stephen continued his final journey into Camlough on the back of his own lorry.  The village came to a standstill, the roads were blocked, the shops rolled down their shutters and everyone lined the street to pay their respects to Stephen and his family.

The following week Eamon Fearon, the chairman of the local football club arranged for Stephen’s brothers and close friends to meet at the club, where they were introduced to Seamus McCabe, the founding member of PIPS Hope & Support Newry.  Over the following weeks and months after Stephen’s death, Seamus spoke to the group and to individuals about suicide and mental health issues.

Ten years on the Keep Er Lit Committee have teamed up once again for a truck run to raise much needed funds for PIPS.  Stephen’s brothers Sean and Brian along with Stephen’s son Callum will lead the convoy out of Camlough in the same lorry that took Stephen to his final destination.

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