Three men will take to the waters of Lough Erne this morning (Wednesday) for a mammoth 136 mile paddle down the length of Ireland to Killaloe, Co Clare to raise funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA).
After four months of training, Co Clare trio Peter Brewitt, Ger Harrington and James Lynch are hoping to complete the challenge across four provinces and ten counties and all in just five days. Their route from Lough Erne will take them across the Shannon-Erne waterway and down the River Shannon before they are due to arrive in Killaloe on Sunday.
One of the group, Ger Harrington, who is originally from Limerick but now lives near Killaloe, lost his mother Carmel to MND in 2012. Ger, who has been kayaking since he was a teenager, is now taking on this task to raise awareness of MND and to help the organisation that has become close to his heart. He says that without IMNDA, which relies largely on public donations and fundraising efforts, his family would have been in a much worse place.
“In 2012 I had only heard of Motor Neuron Disease but it turned the life of my family upside down. My mother Carmel was diagnosed in May 2012 and passed away in December that year,” Ger told the Herald.
“I wanted to raise vital funds for an organisation that proved to be my family’s rock in hard times.”
In January, Ger’s fellow team member James Lynch approached him about the charity kayak. He became the first person to swim the length of Ireland’s longest lake, Lough Derg in 2014.
“We have had great support from many kayaking and outdoor activity shops suppyling us with all the kit and gear that will be necessary for the journey. We are hoping that the public will get behind us too and support us as we travel through the waterways,” James said.
The lads have established an event page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kayak4mnd/ where they will post regular updates on their training and indeed once they commence their journey.
A link can be found on that page to their fundraising site https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/kayak4mnd
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Posted: 8:00 am June 15, 2016