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From Mizen to Malin: Blog 5


Well if anyone asked me a year ago what today was going to be like, I never would have envisioned how it actually turned out.

Last night I behaved myself once more and I retired by 1am after brief visits to a couple of hostelries in Limerick, namely "The Claws" and “Nancy's”. 

There was some great entertainment in the latter but I knew that I was exhausted from the day. I knew I needed to conserve my energy for the rest of the week.

I rose at 7.20am to be ready for breakfast at Frank Hogan's, one of the main sponsors. 

There, Frank Jr presented a cheque of €20,000 to Paul Wallace, while Frank Snr interviewed all the legends. Some grat banter was had. 

Poor Peter Winterbottom was told that the English were not the favourites of France, Australia or Ireland and he gracefully replied that in return the English loved everyone! 

After this we visited Milford Primary School.  Again all the legends Serge Betson, Peter Winterbottom, Phil Kearns, the Wallace Brothers and Liam Toland were opened up to questions from 3rd, 4th , 5th & 6th class. Boy did the questions make sense. 

Why were we doing this cycle? For Cross cancer research! 

Why a cycle? Because they were too broken up from injury to do a marathon or the like!  Finally, and I love this one, why did you not to it as a motor rally? Out of the mouths of babes.......

I was then asked to talk to the group because my son Donal had been a cancer sufferer. 

I asked all the sixth class to stand. I explained that they, 12-year-olds, were the same age as Donal when he was first diagnosed.

I then asked that all the school undertake a #Livelife project and I told them I would give them a special present of the #livelife wristband. 

Before leaving the school, one young girl came up to me and pulled me aside to tell me that her father had died from cancer the previous week. 

I told her that this was why these guys were doing the cycle. I told her to remember that her dad would be always in her heart, just as Donal is in mine as I make this journey. 

Another sixth class student came up and said "I think you know my uncle, Paul!"

I started to think... which Paul is that?... Yep you've guessed it: Paul O'Connell... And we chatted about how he and Donal were good friends.

Later on the bus, there was a number of guys who had not prepared for cycling. It became a mobile male dressing room while we travelled. 

We did pass a squad car outside Ennis but thank God we were not pulled over. There might have been some embarrassing explanations from the crew inside.

I joined the earlier gang today and cycled from Lisdoonvarna, after lunch at the Batchelor Festival, and we headed off to Galway. 

We did 80km in the afternoon and not at a pace I would normally do. But yesterday had taken its toll and I want to enjoy this trip as well as be here at the end. 

As we entered Galway at the end of the day. I had a few pains - by the end of this trip my rear will need therapy.

Someone in the group retorted: "Yeah, you'll need to see a Rumpologist!" 

Does even such a medical practitioner exist, I ask myself...

To end the day, there was a group challenge set out by Liam Toland. The challenge was that instead of doing the Ice Bucket challenge today, we do the annual Salthill dive off the boards. 

Cycling straight down, some of the lads were in like a shot.

Me, however? I hesitated but after seeing everyone else had it done then there was no turning back. 

The photographic evidence will be sent to Elma to prove it.

Tomorrow sees us heading for Connamara and on to Westport. 

Give us a hoot if you see us. 


For more information or to donate, see  http://www.mycharity.ie/event/fionnbar_walshs_event 

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