There has been a phenomenal response for a range of fundraising activities that have been organised in aid of a highly popular Donegal family man who is battling against a debilitating illness.

Paul ‘Diddler’ Dillon is particularly well known on the local running scene, having been an active member of Lifford-Strabane AC, while many others know him through his work as a butcher in Kernan’s of Newtowncunningham for many years.

Several events have already been held and at least TWENTY more are planned.

On Saturday night, a remarkable €3675.00 was raced at a Night at the Races in Coyle’s Bar in Newtowncunningham.

This was just one of many fundraisers and reflects the high esteem in which he is held

Commenting on the night, Paul Dillon expressed his thanks by posting on the Weekend Challenge for Diddler facebook page. He said: “On behalf of me and Emma and the girls we would like to thank everyone involved for their great generosity; it was great night and a great community we have in Newtown!”

Recently, and unexpectedly, he was diagnosed with a condition that has completely altered how he lives.

A fundraising committee was set up to organise the Weekend Challenge for Diddler and to assist him and his family as they have to make modifications to their home.

There has been incredible support.

Here are just some of the events that are planned.

Thursday, January 31st: Table quiz in Arena 7, Letterkenny (8.30)

Thursday, February 7th: Coffee morning in Good & New Charity Shop, Letterkenny (11-3)

Friday, February 8th: Coffee Morning in Alt Bar, Killea (10-2); Fun Quiz Night in Carrig Inn, Carrigans (8.30).

Saturday, February 9th: Coffee Morning, Manorcunningham Resource Centre.

Wednesday, February 13th: A  Monster Charity Country Concert in An Grianan Hotel in Burt, with Marc Roberts, Barry Kirwan, Eamon McCann, David Craig, Johnny Brady, Aidan Clerkin, Olivia Douglas, Simon Casey, Brendan Quinn, Stage 3, Martin Cuffe and Jim Devine.

Friday, February 15th: Come Dine with Me (contact Amanda McFadden); Come Dine with Me – A Treat from Argentina, Newtowncunngham Orange Hall (7.30); 25 Card Drive, Biddy Friel’s;

Saturday, February 16th:  Dance and auction, Biddy Friel’s, Drumoghill; Charity Night in Maggie’s Tavern, St. Johnston with music by Clement; Charity Circuit Class in G8 Fitness, Letterkenny (10am); The “Dash for Diddler” 5k run/walk jog event in Newtowncunningham (11.00, with chip timing and spot prizes). NOTE: Pre-registration is available on Friday, February 15th in the Columban Hall from 7.00 - 9.00 pm).;

Sunday, February 17th: A tractor run in Newtowncunningham; Carrigans Cycling Group cycle from Newtowncunningham (9.00 sign-on); Fushion Hair Salon, Newtowncunningham, special rates and donation day with refreshments and raffle.

Saturday, February 23rd: Diddler’s Cup fun football day at Pairc Colmcille, Newtowncunningham (1.00).

Meanwhile, the Donegal Arsenal Supporters’ Club secretary Brian Burke has donated two tickets for the Arsenal v. Crystal Palace Premier League game on Saturday, April 20th. Entry is €10.

Colin Clarke has donated two Celtic v. Motherwell tickets for Sunday, February 24th with free travel provided by Letterkenny No.1 Celtic Supporters’ Club.

Newtowncunningham Playgroup is running a bonus ball competition (€10 entry) while a raffle for a hamper is being held by Newtown Pharmacy.

The committee members are: Cllr Paul Canning, Dympna Whoriskey, Teresa McGee, Dominic Whoriskey, Laura Ann McBrearty, Cleona McFadden and Patricia Cullen.

Meanwhile, Trinity Court is the drop-off point for anyone who would like to donate items for spot prizes or refreshments for the various events.

More information on the many events planned can be found on the committee’s Facebook page: ‘Weekend Challenge Committee Page for Diddler.’

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.