Adam King launches appeal to send a hug for National Hug Day


To mark National Hug Day on January 21, The Ronald McDonald House has teamed up with Adam King to appeal to the public to send a hug to a loved one. 

You can support the appeal by sending Barróg the teddy bunny to someone special in aid of families with sick children. 

Barróg is the Irish for hug and by giving this hug to a loved one, the hug will give back to support families whose children are seriously ill in hospital. All proceeds from the purchase of Barróg go directly to supporting the families staying at The Ronald McDonald House.

The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and a caring, supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill at Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, Ireland’s largest paediatric hospital. 


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With the help of The Ronald McDonald House, families can stay together and be involved in their sick children’s day to day life while they are in hospital long-term. 

Since opening 18 years ago it has been home to over 5,000 families from across the country. 

The charity also provides over 12,000 meals a year to these families with the help of volunteers and donated produce from James Whelan Butchers, sponsors of the charity’s National Hug Day 2023 campaign.

Joe Kenny, the CEO of The Ronald McDonald House, said, “At The Ronald McDonald House we believe that family is medicine. Being together, being close and, of course, hugs are a crucial part of a child’s road to recovery”.

“We have 20 families of seriously ill children stay at The Ronald McDonald House every night which means a lot of hugs happen under our roof. Sometimes it’s hugs of joy and celebration, other times it can be hugs of compassion and comfort, but always there’s hugs of hope for better days to come”.


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He added, “Sending a Barróg hug in time for National Hug Day is a great way to get behind these families while letting someone special in your own life know that you’re thinking of them”.

David King, the dad of national treasure and king of the Virtual Hug, Adam King, explained how important the campaign and charity is.

“As parents who have spent a lot of time in hospital at home and abroad, we know all too well the stresses a prolonged stay caring for your child can bring. Your attention is very much focused on improving the outcomes for your precious child, so thinking about a roof over your head, where your next meal is coming from or when you’ll see your other children are all added worries you don’t need”.

"That is why we are delighted to support the wonderful work of The Ronald McDonald House. It’s such a natural fit for our values as parents, as well as Adam’s message of spreading love and kindness through hugs!".

“Adam and his bunny, Bubby, have found a new friend in Barróg and I can confirm that Barróg is certainly up for the job of hugging the nation on the 21st of January this year”.


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Another family who know all too well about spending time in hospital and have received support from The Ronald McDonald House is the Barnes-Asbo family from Cork. They first stayed there for 604 nights while Kian was being treated for leukemia. 

Dad, Charlie explained, “The support we received went beyond a warm meal or a comfortable bed. Everyone saw us as the Barnes-Aabo family, not just a family with a chronically ill child. Everyone knew us as individuals in the House and it provided a sense of normalcy and strength that we wouldn’t have had otherwise”.

To send someone a special Barróg hug, visit Each Barróg gift set, including a Barróg bunny, personalised gift card and gift, can be purchased for a special price of €10 ex p&p. 

You can also support The Ronald McDonald House on National Hug Day, January 21, in 11 Dunnes Stores nationwide as volunteers shake buckets and sell Barróg “National Hug Day” pins.

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