Skip to content

PKRF Record Breaking Year for Fundraising

‘The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund Charity Race is the most important race of the festival because it is the race the makes a massive difference to many lives’.




As a result of these funds the PKRF has managed to support the following projects this year:


James Nolan, Chairman of the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund reflected on a momentous year:  “So many people deserve huge thanks for making the charity race such an unbelievable success.  The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund enjoys the privilege of being permitted to run during the Punchestown Festival. Great credit is due to all the team at Punchestown who make our race day so special, as well as all the staff at I.H.R.B who so generously volunteer their services on the day and also the staff at H.R.I. & R.A.C.E. who ensure everything is run correctly.

We are very grateful to all the owners and the trainers who have given continued support over 31 years by allowing horses to run. We would like to acknowledge the various forms of media, whose coverage of the PKRF Race in whatever way, is hugely important both to our charity and to all those people awaiting life-saving transplants; you all give hope to so many others by raising the profile of Organ Donor Awareness in Ireland”.


Punchestown Pledge to Irish Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal

Press Release Wednesday 13th April 2022 – Punchestown racecourse, in association with the Irish Red Cross,  have pledged to donate all proceeds from tickets purchased over this Easter weekend for Ballymore Family Day, Saturday 30th April, to the Irish Red Cross Ukraine crisis appeal.   

Red Cross teams are on the ground in Ukraine and surrounding region as well as here in Ireland providing crucial aid for Ukrainian refugees. Your support will enable the Red Cross to continue their work to provide for basic needs such as water, food, medical aid, shelter and other essential needs.

Punchestown racecourse have pledged that all proceeds from tickets purchased for Ballymore Family day between Friday 15th and Monday 18th April will go directly to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal. The Ballymore Family day is the final day of the festival and takes place on Saturday 30th April. 

Conor O’Neill, Punchestown CEO said “We are all united in our horror at what is happening in Ukraine. Families and loved ones are being displaced and the consequences of this war are devastating. In addition to our Easter weekend fundraiser, we will be rolling out some additional activities to raise funds in the coming days and weeks. If everyone gives a little it will help a lot.”

Charlie Lamson, Head of Fundraising Irish Red Cross said: “The situation in Ukraine is accelerating and the need for funds to support teams on the ground has never been more crucial. Awareness and action like this Easter weekend appeal by Punchestown will all go towards supporting families that have been torn apart by this conflict. Please support by donating at or by purchasing Punchestown tickets for Saturday 30th April on

The Ballymore Family Day is the concluding day of the Punchestown Festival and takes place on Saturday 30th April. The Saturday has become the most popular day at the festival with crowds of over 35,000 expected to attend. A dedicated family activity area means that there is ample room for families and socialisers to enjoy the various aspects of the race day in comfort. By purchasing tickets for and attending Punchestown on Saturday 30th you and your family and friends can make a big difference to those not as fortunate.

The Punchestown Festival gets underway on Tuesday 26th April and runs through to Saturday 30th April. All proceeds for festival Saturday tickets purchased between Friday 15th and Monday 18th April go to the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.    

Visit  or donate directly

Punchestown Gift The Festival Curtain Raiser to Long-Time Charity Partner PKRF

Festival racing at Punchestown will pick up where it left off with today’s announcement that the first race of this year’s festival has been gifted to the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund.

Traditionally, the final race of the Punchestown Festival has been the extremely popular PKRF charity sweepstakes, a concept that gives people the opportunity to experience the thrill of race riding whilst raising funds. In a bid to adapt and continue the tradition the newly introduced, Have The Conversation Say Yes to Organ Donation Novice Handicap Hurdle,  will help raise much needed awareness until the charity race can hopefully resume in its traditional format.  An incredible €1,570,000 has been raised to date and the fund has supported many initiatives including the landmark project – the state of the art renal unit in Temple Street Children’s Hospital, contributed to the refurbishment of the dialysis unit at Sligo General Hospital, continuous research programmes and sponsored trips to Takers Ski Camps for younger kidney patients.  

PKRF founder, transplant recipient and 2002 Punchestown charity race winner James Nolan outlined the objectives for this years campaign: “There are two important reasons for our charity to be part of Punchestown Festival. The first is to raise funds to support all our different projects, the second is to promote organ donor awareness.  There were an incredible 123 kidney transplants carried out during a very difficult and challenging 2020.  However, there are over 600 people on the list for a lifesaving kidney transplants so we would ask people to have the conversation at home about organ donation.  It is much easier for everyone if your family know your wishes.  Anyone can free text the word DONOR to 50050 and either click on the link to receive an Organ Donor Card by post or download a digital organ donor card”.

Conor O’Neill, Punchestown CEO said “Since we started planning this unique running of the Punchestown Festival as far back as last summer we had committed to a charity element. James Nolan and the Punchestown Charity Race are part of the fabric of the place. Not only is the charity race a wonderful way to conclude the festival every year but it is also fair to say it is the most important race of the week as it makes such a difference to so many people’s lives. We feel it’s more important now than ever to send a message of solidarity and support and we hope that the race continues to make a difference by prompting people to have the conversation about organ donation”.

Action at this year’s Punchestown Festival will get under way at 3.40pm on Tuesday 28th April with The Have the Conversation Say Yes to Organ Donation Novice Handicap Hurdle. Full live coverage available on RTE2 and RacingTV each day of the festival. Follow Punchestown’s social media channels for the latest news and behind the scenes action. Free text the word DONOR to 50050 to receive an organ donor card.  

The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund Projects

The PKRF is a registered Irish Charity (CHY 16613) which has raised €1,570,685 to date and supported a wide number of projects over the past number of years including:

Free text the word DONOR to 50050 to receive an organ donor card.