Saturday 21 October 2017

Dad to row, cycle, walk 500km in seven days

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

A FATHER of three yesterday swapped planes, trains and automobiles for a kayak, bike and shank's mare as he set off on a 500km journey.

Prison officer Mark Bermingham is racing against time to complete his Dublin to Dingle challenge in just seven days.

Mr Bermingham, from Ashbourne, Co Meath, set out yesterday morning from Ringsend in Dublin and hopes to reach his final destination in Dingle by Monday evening.

However, the only forms of transport at his disposal are a kayak, a bike and his two legs.

Mr Bermingham has taken on the challenge in aid of the Friends of St Luke's Hospital, where his late father Bill received treatment for cancer.

Sadly, Mr Bermingham Snr passed away in September 2008 but his son is now determined to complete this challenge in his father's memory.

His journey began at 7.30am where he cycled the 17.5km distance to the 12th lock on the Grand Canal at Adamstown, from where he started his 130km kayak journey.

"I'm surprised by the number of people who are out on the canal and who heard me on with Hector on 2fm this morning," Mr Bermingham said.

"They've been paddling along with me for a while to give me support." Accommodation on his first night will be a campervan provided by recently retired prison officer John Dooley, who's also providing support and food along the way.

"Waterways Ireland have been fantastic and they've given us a permit to camp along the canal every night. We're staying in Allenwood tonight, then it's on to Lough 22 between Daingean and Tullamore and we'll stay at Shannon Harbour in Co Offaly on Thursday," he added. On Friday morning he faces a 219km cycle to Fossa outside Killarney, before he tackles Ireland's tallest mountain, Carrantuohill, en route to Dingle via Castlemaine. "I expect to walk into Dingle at around 6pm on Monday, but all I'm praying for is a clear day for Carrantuohill."

The Dublin2Dingle challenge can be supported online at mycharity.ie.

Irish Independent

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