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The co-founder of CRY Ireland has announced that he will be stepping down as chairman of the charity, 16 years after he founded it with his wife, Marie Greene,  following the sudden death of their son Peter in June 1996.

During Michael’s time as chairman, CRY Ireland worked to raise awareness for cardiac risk in the young, in addition to providing counselling and support for those affected by Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS), and to opening the CRYP Centre (The Centre for Cardiovascular Risk in Younger Persons) in November 2008, which is a free screening service for those at risk.

The Board of Trustees of CRY (Ireland) has appointed long-term supporter of CRY Ireland Tommy Fegan, who has been a supporter of CRY since the untimely death of his son, Kevin (24) in 2010, as the organisation’s new Chairman. The South Armagh native and his family have been active fundraisers since then, and more recently Tommy has been leading an organisational review of CRY (Ireland).

Speaking about his new role, Tommy said: “I am very honoured to accept the chair, and I recognise that Michael will be an extremely hard act to follow. Along with his wife, Marie, and faithful friends, Michael developed a vision of a national service to provide on-going support to families bereaved through sudden death of a child, and have raised the funds to provide such a service, based at Tallaght Hospital since 2002.

“I hope to help CRY (Ireland) build on the solid foundation Michael and the board has created and strengthen our screening, support and research services, raise awareness of the issues and help reduce the number of parents who face that unimaginable and ultimate horror-burying your child”, he concluded.

The service, which currently receives no direct government funding, is provided at the CRYP Centre in Tallaght Hospital and is available free to anyone in the country (via GP referral).

CRY is an Irish registered charity that aims to support families who have lost a relative to sudden cardiac death (SCD) and helps raise awareness of the conditions that cause it.