A Rosenbauer Panther 6x6 Airport Fire Appliance attracted quite a bit of interest on Saturday when it was parked at Belfast City Hall, just before 16 firefighters from Belfast International Airport pulled the 30-tonne vehicle across the front of the City Hall.
Both young and old were keen to examine the vehicle and were curious to find out what was about to happen.
The engine was there to help raise funds for ‘Children Are Butterflies’, a charity which offers practical and financial support for families who experience the death of a child.
There was a crowd of supporters and onlookers when Fire Watch Commander, Michael McKenna led the team off, to some applause.
Michael, who decided to help raise funds for the charity following the death of his niece, Caoimhe, from an undiagnosed heart condition, was amazed by the turn-out and support from his colleagues. friends and those who were out and about in the city centre.
The fire engine pull followed fundraising efforts at a sponsored Gaelic football match,
Michael nominated ‘Children Are Butterflies’ as Belfast International Airport’s Charity of the Quarter - so together with a donation from the airport’s ‘Drop of Zone’, the total amount raised from the fire engine pull brought the total donation to over £4,500 - an amount that will be used to help families who find themselves in a similar situation to Michael’s to good use.
After the event, Michael thanked all who helped saying “That was wonderful. We had great support from my colleagues and the people shopping in town. We even had one firefighter temporarily ‘snatched’ by tourists on a site-seeing cycle tour of the city centre - but we got him back!
‘Unfortunately, I know from experience the support that ‘Children Are Butterflies’ gives to bereaved families and I know that this money is essential to continue to help others in the same situation. I;d like to thank everyone who helped.”