A ten day walk

In late August a number of hardy walkers took on the challenge of trekking from Limerick City to Greystones in County Wicklow to raise money for the Caroline Foundation. The 240km route, which took nine days to complete, was mapped out to include important milestones in Caroline’s life. As well as Limerick City, where she was born, and Greystones, where she was brought up, the walk went through towns that Caroline had lived in (Sandymount and Booterstown) and Dalkey, where she famously tread the boards for the Dalkey Players.

The first section of the walk – the 70km Lough Derg Way – began on 21st August in Limerick City and took two and a half days to complete, passing through O’Briensbridge, Killaloe and Castletown, before finishing in Dromineer. The clear high-light was the spectacular walk alongside the ESB dam in Ardcloony at the end of day one. The clear high-point – literally – was the unexpected trek up Mount Arra on day two, passing the appropriately named Graves of the Leinster Men on the way. Paul McNally, Lorcan Eyres and Rónán Hickey completed all three days of the walk and were joined by Brendan Hickey, Ellen Hegarty, Dermod and Helen Dwyer and Frank Larkin for various stages. Special mention to Siobhan Hickey for all her logistical support, including providing multiple lifts to accommodation and multiple confectionary items and water bottles from the boot of the car.

The second section of the walk involved tackling the 120km Grand Canal Way. Starting on 24th August in Shannon Harbour, this walk took in Tullamore, Edenderry and Sallins, and concluded in Lucan, Co. Dublin. It was disappointing to see how underutilised this well maintained trail is by both walkers and boats. Only one of the latter was seen travelling the canal in the four and a half days the walk took. A special thank you must go to the publican in the Pull Inn, Pollagh for providing walkers with free lunch and beverages once he heard what the walk was in aid of. What made this even more amazing was the fact that food was not even being served in the pub. With nowhere close by on route, however, he felt compelled to rustle something up in his kitchen. Rónán Hickey completed the full Grand Canal Way and was joined along the way by Richie McKinney; Alan Cunningham; Brendan and Aoife Hickey; Jeannette, Glenn and Annalise Taggart; Dermod, Denis and Helen Dwyer; and Yvonne Cameron Hickey.

The final 50km took walkers from the end of the Grand Canal Way in Lucan to Greystones in County Wicklow. This involved going through the Phoenix Park (via Castleknock, where a lack of footpaths on a long bendy stretch meant it really was nearly the Graves of the Leinster Men) and then following the Coast to Sandymount, Bootertown, Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire, Sandycove and beyond. The final day of walking – from Dalkey to Greystones – was particularly memorable as it saw a very impressive collection of people, buggies and dogs take on the hills to Bray in the morning and an even bigger group – including members of the Dalkey Players, staff at St Brigids and family and friends of Caroline – join in for the Cliff Walk from Bray to Greystones in the afternoon. Rónán Hickey once again completed all of this section of the walk and along with all of those already mentioned in the paragraphs above was joined by Gavin Jones (risking life and limb getting to the Phoenix Park), Brian Golden, Laura Weymes and Jeananne Fennelly along the way.

The walk raised an amazing €17,000 through its mycharity.ie page, a table quiz organised by Sari Eyres and Sarah Conry, a coffee morning organised by Siobhan and Brendan Hickey and a cake sale organised by Aoife Hickey and her colleagues at Ulster Bank (all of which are discussed in more detail on this page). Sincere thanks to all those who made a donation, spread word of the event or joined in with the walk. Extra special thanks to the people who did all three – you know who you are!