Sunday 30 April 2017

Gardaí take on Four Peaks Challenge to help Aware charity

Gardaí Laura Ryan, Rathfarnham, and Patrice Ryan, Tipperary, with a shillelagh at the
launch of the Garda Four Peaks Challenge in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren
Gardaí Laura Ryan, Rathfarnham, and Patrice Ryan, Tipperary, with a shillelagh at the launch of the Garda Four Peaks Challenge in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren

Ryan Nugent

Some 100 gardaí are set to climb the four highest peaks in Ireland in aid of charity next month - and have raised €30,000 already.

The group is attempting the Four Peaks Mountain Challenge across Ireland's four provinces from May 19-21.

The three-day challenge will see the gardaí - both serving and retired - tackling the heights of Carrauntoohil in Co Kerry, Mweelrea in Co Mayo, Slieve Donard in Co Down and Co Wicklow's Lugnaquilla, covering the highest peak in each of the provinces.

Climbers want to raise more than €50,000 for mental health charity Aware.

Speaking ahead of the hike, Detective Chief Superintendent at Harcourt Street Pat Lordan said it is hugely significant.

"When I heard about this challenge, I said 'yeah, this one is for me'," he said.

"I did Kilimanjaro last year on a separate adventure, so this is a big challenge. I think it's bigger than Kilimanjaro, to be honest with you.

"It's the awareness of mental health and mental well-being and our mindfulness of what we're doing in our jobs.

"But it's not just for the guards, it's a challenge for everyone in life and we want to highlight what's going on in people's minds at any time and that there is help out there."

Chief Superintendent in Blanchardstown Lorraine Wheatley said: "This year we decided to go for broke, we've been training since October," she said.

"In our job, we deal with people on a daily basis who have issues.

"It tells the public we understand, we're human as well."

Irish Independent photographer Mark Condren will join the team on the challenge, and will document the challenge.

Our picture by Mark shows Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan, who was presented with a stick from Det Chief Supt Pat Lordan at the launch of the challenge.

Irish Independent

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