The Great Bear Chain – Sunday 17th May in Greystones Seafront, County Wicklow

PRESS RELEASE: Recently two Wicklow-based charities came together to establish an Irish record that no other Irish charity had attempted before! On Sunday 17th May, the cancer research charity The Caroline Foundation (CHY 12210) in partnership with Lakers (CHY 15208) for Special Needs Children & Adults, succeeded in running a continuous chain of 5,208 Teddy Bears along the length of Greystones seafront in-front of its famous Patrick O’Reilly ‘Beach Bear’ sculpture.

The group initially set out to break the then Guinness World Record for LONGEST LINE OF TEDDY BEARS, held by Hong Kong with 4,041 Bears. However, just three days before the Greystones challenge a new record was verified by Guinness World Record at 15,534, as set by 10 year old Finlay Church (UK) at the Alvechurch Cricket Club in Worcestershire.

However, the two charities with huge community support continued undaunted with the aim of beating the record they set out to beat and in the process establish a new Irish Record. On Sunday last Notary, Mr Patrick Jones, Jones Magee Solicitors, Bray, Co. Wicklow verified that 5,208 teddy bears were lined up according to the criteria laid down by Guinness World Records for this category: in one continuous line, each touching the next, to for The Great Bear Chain along Greystones Seafront and a New Irish Record was established.

The Caroline Foundation, which is a constituent of Cancer Clinical Research Trust led by Prof. John Crown, broke a Guinness World Record in 2014 for the LONGEST AWARENESS RIBBON CHAIN which saw approximately 3,000 people hold a ribbon that stretched throughout the Bray and Greystones Cliff Walk. The event was so successful that the charity decided to go for a second record this year.

Speaking to Helen O’Sullivan of The Caroline Foundation and Diane Cahill of Lakers they expressed their deepest gratitude to all those who made the event such a success. The business community of the greater Bray/Greystones /North Wicklow area were unfaltering in their support of the initiative from the outset. They extended special thanks to Gardaí, Glennon Insurance, Wicklow and Bray Councils, Order of Malta, Jones Magee Solicitors, Newcastle Aerodrome, Greystones Tidy Towns Committee, Management and Staff of St David’s Secondary School, all who helped in promoting the event such as local & national printed media, East CoastFM and Garden County radio, TV3, Greystones Guide & Forums, Sheena Griffin Photography, Jody Connaughton Photography, Jason Clarke Photography and all the photographers whose visual images beautifully captured the wonder of the event, those who provided entertainment and especially the local community.

“The whole community came out in force in support of the event with over 3,000 people of grans & granddads, parents, young people and children bringing very special teddies to join THE GREAT BEAR GATHERING. A huge welcome was extended to visiting teddies from the Cavan/Monaghan hug from Bear Essentials & BB bears from Galway. Bears came together from all parts of Ireland. Each hug of bears was minded with the watchful protectiveness of besotted parents and carefully collected for homeward journeys immediately after the seaside outing. With music and street entertainment galore! It was one of those days that bind communities together, a day that memories are made of”. The organisers extended best wishes to Ireland’s Eurovision Singer, Molly Sterling, who launch the challenge for both charities some time ago.

So, a hugely successful event that not only was full of fun and excitement but importantly raised over € 40,000 for these two worthy charities. What a day!

Anyone who would like to support this great cause can do so through:  /



Helen O’Sullivan Dwyer & Diane Cahill