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Nolans is famous for many things, but in Kilcullen and the surrounding areas they pay a huge contributions to the local communtiy. they are avid supporters of all local sporting teams and have provided sponsorship for many of the local clubs and still continue to do so. One of the most prominent ventures partaken is by James Nolan. Anybody familiar with the pnchestown racing festival will buy now know about the Charity race set up by James.



the race itself …….

· Founded in 1990 by James Nolan

· 2 miles flat race run over the Punchestown Championship Racetrack ·Run on 2nd May 2002 at the Irish National Hunt Racing Festival in front of 30,000 people.

· 11 riders in 1990 and this year have over 116 entries including applications from France, Denmark, Italy, USA and England.

· In the past riders from the world of racing have included Frank Berry, Tommy Carberry, John Joe O' Neill, Oliver Sherwood, Arthur Moore and Robert Hall.

· The equestrian world has also been well represented with Jessica Harrington, Jessica Chessney, Edward Doyle, Alfie Buller, Susan Shortt, Vina Buller, Mark Barry, Captain David Foster, Mairead Curran. · Jon Kenny from D'unbelievables took part in 1998 and 1999.

· It is traditionally the last race on the final day of the festival · Riders undertake to raise a minimum of 1,000 Euro in sponsorship as their condition to entry

· Riders are not professional jockeys as this would defeat the purpose of the race

· The race is fully recognised by the Punchestown Management Committee and has full race status. It is run in accordance with the rules and regulations of The Turf Club.

· Past participant in the race "Bobbyjo" has won the Irish National in l998 and the Aintree Grand National in 1999.


How the race came about- the gift of life……..


· James Nolan, now 36 years of age had progressive renal failure from birth

· For the first 19 years of his life he spent much of his time in hospital and had extensive medical treatments

· In November 1986 at the age of 19 James was put on Dialysis in the Meath Hospital, Dublin

· In April 1987, the Nolan family began to consider the possibility of a transplant and various tissue tests were carried out to determine suitability of a donor within the family

· His sister Catherine was found to be 100% compatible as a kidney donor and volunteered to donate one of her kidneys · At this time Catherine Doyle or Catherine Nolan as she was then, was a well-known model with Eddie Shanahan and Geraldine Brand

· Both Catherine and James then needed to prepare for the operation. For James everything was controlled through his dialysis unit in the Meath Hospital. For Catherine, this included an intensive period of final testing

· The transplant took place on 25.7.87 on the Feast of St. James when James was 20 · Once fully recovered, he decided to "put something back" and approached The Punchestown Race Course and The Turf Club about the idea of a charity race · He received their approvals and in 1990 the race was founded and has been running annually ever since.

· James continues to participate in the race every year and last year was his thirteenth consecutive year. · To date over 506,000 Euro has been raised for various kidney research projects.

· The aim is to break through the 1,000,000 Euro mark!!!

The race was started by James Nolan to raise funds for kidney research as he felt he was the beneficiary of the projects that investigated kidney function and dysfunction down through the years. Thus, the organising committee uses the following guidelines when selecting projects:

1. To invest in projects that improve the quality of life for the patient on dialysis

2. To invest in projects which try to find ways to maximise the life span for the transplanted kidney.

3. To invest in projects which try to identify the causative factors that lead to renal failure with the hope that medical treatments will be identified which can be used as preventative medicine for people with kidney problems.

· When selecting an organisation to invest funds with, the committee expect full accountability for all the funds that have been invested. · The committee also require 3 monthly reports and an end of year report.

· Should any papers be published as a result of our funds being used we would like the paper to be credited to the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund.

· If possible , the committee would like to visit the research centre as it is much easier to explain to sponsors where their money is invested if there is a visible image in their minds as opposed to 1000 words which usually mean nothing to the lay person.

· If possible, the committee like to bring some of the jockeys for the above stated reason. We fully understand that this may only be done at times that suit doctors, nurses and researchers.

· A formal agreement will be signed by 2 people representing the organisation that are in receipt of funds. This will be also signed by 2 representatives of the committee. The above is only done so as to ensure both parties are clear under what terms and to what extent any project is being supported. Traceability and accountability are absolutely essential for the committee. OVER 500,000 euro RAISED FOR KIDNEY RESEARCH The 1998 Punchestown kidney research charity sweepstakes sponsored by Esat Telecom beat all previous records by raising over £49,000 bringing the total to date up to in excess of 500,000euro. The money from last year's race is now funding a one year research fellowship at the new Adelaide and Meath Hospital at Tallaght. Professor Brian Keogh who is heading up this research is absolutely delighted. "This is the first fund-raising venture for the Renal Unit at the new Tallaght Hospital and we are extremely grateful to James Nolan and his committee for choosing to support us". James Nolan, race founder and organiser said "Eleven years ago, I was very lucky in that my sister Catherine gave me one of her kidneys. Thanks to the continuous hard work of professionals like Professor Keogh, many others are also benefiting from successful transplants and where transplants are not suitable an improved quality of life thanks to the drugs that have been developed as a result of research". The race has and will continue to support research projects as it is only by knowing more about what triggers renal failure that preventive measures can be taken.

Punchestown Kidney Research Committee
Main Street
Co. Kildare
Contact - James Nolan

Phone 045/481229.
Fax 045/481093

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