SANTA RETURNS TO GUILDHALL. . . .The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Patricia Logue is first to make a donation to Santa to raise vital funds for the Annual Children in Crossfire Christmas Appeal which started at the steps of the Guildhall on Wednesday. Included from left are Aisling Cunningham, Children in Crossfire, Mrs. Mary Gallagher, Richard Moore, Children in Crossfire and Santa himself! (Photo: Jim McCafferty Photography)



Derry man Martin Gallagher will be taking up the reins of the sleigh at the Guildhall this Christmas season, as he once again dons his Santa costume to raise vital funds for Children in Crossfire.


Martin, who has been fundraising for Children in Crossfire since 2008, said:


“My wife Mary and I started the Santa Appeal for Children in Crossfire in memory of our son Christopher, who tragically passed away from malaria in 2006 at the age of just 23. Our goals over the years have been to keep Christopher’s memory alive, raise public awareness of malaria and support a very worthwhile cause.


“I am looking forward to being at the Guildhall between 10am and 3:30pm every day from Saturday 25th November to Saturday 22nd December, except for Sundays and Thursday 7th December. I’ll be there in the sleigh at the main door, ready to welcome everyone to get their photo taken with Santa.


“People will have a range of options for donating, including cash, online and by text. I want to stress that, in these tough times, every donation will help.”


Encouraging the northwest public to support the 2023 Santa Appeal, Children in Crossfire’s Chief Executive Richard Moore said:


“We are deeply grateful to Martin and Mary for their loyal support for Children in Crossfire. It means a lot that they choose to partner in Christopher’s memory.


“Martin dedicates a month each year to fundraise for us as Santa at the Guildhall. He’s there in all weathers, helping passers-by to get into the Christmas spirit with a smile and a warm welcome.


“Over the years that the Gallaghers have been supporting Children in Crossfire, they have raised more than £90,000 to support our programmes in Tanzania and Ethiopia. This is an incredible achievement from a deeply caring couple and very compassionate family. It is also a wonderful tribute to their much-missed son.


“I have no doubt the Derry public and visitors alike will once again support our Santa Appeal. As always, we pledge that every penny donated will be put to very good use to support some of the world’s most vulnerable children.”

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