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Iconic Star Wars characters out in force in Kerry to show their support for Debra Ireland



Chewbacca, Fennec Shand and a Stormtrooper were there to represent the Star Wars universe while the Grinch, of all people, was the festive representative on the day.

Keith and the other characters were representing three different character costume groups here in Ireland. All the Star Wars villains are represented by the 501st Legion Ireland group, the Star Wars heroes costumes all come from the ‘Rebel Legion Ireland’ group’ while all other non Star Wars characters, including the Grinch, are from the ‘Reel Icons’ group.

The characters were certainly kept busy too with kids and their parents eager to nab a photo with icons such as Chewbacca – who delighted everyone with the traditional wookie roar – and of course, the very impressive looking stormtrooper.

The fundraiser was organised by local photographer Keith McGlynn in memory of young Éanna Coffey who passed away back in October of 2016 while it was in aid of the for the Butterfly Skin Disease Charity, DEBRA Ireland.

Keith spoke to The Kerryman on Tuesday about the fundraiser went, revealing that a whopping €2030 was raised on the day.

“The amount of photos that were taken was phenomenal. The smiles on the kids faces and the adults as well were great. Mr Grinch, he was a huge success. He came all the way down from Dublin that morning and he drove back that evening. He had a sack with him on the day that like onions and broccoli in it and, in true Grinch fashion, he was handing them out to the kids,” he laughed.

“We had a girl dressed as Fennec Shand as well on the day. She was only 12 years old and she did most of that costume herself. Herself and her mom came down from Wicklow to help out on the day,” he continued.

Volunteers generously gave up their Sunday afternoon to do a bucket collection for the charity and speaking to The Kerryman on the day, they were pleased with how it was going, the kind generosity of people once again rising to the occasion.

The Debra Ireland charity raises both funds and awareness for those suffering with the incurable condition known as epidermolysis bullosa (EB) which is more commonly known as ‘butterfly skin’.

EB is described as an incurable genetic condition that affects the body’s largest organ; the skin.

People living with EB are missing the essential proteins that bind the skin’s layers together, so any minor friction, movement or trauma causes it to break, tear, and blister; it is as fragile as a butterfly wing.

Speaking about the disease, Keith said that it is indescribable in how horrendous it is for those who have it.

“The nickname of EB is ‘the worst disease you’ve never heard of’ because so many people have not heard of it but it really is such a horrific condition. You can’t comprehend what the people themselves who have the disease go through,” he continued.

The mission of ‘Debra Ireland’ is to tell everyone about EB, to compel everyone to care about the disease and to be a positive force for all those who are living with EB as well.

For more information on the condition or to find out how you can help out, please head to their website at

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