Monday 11 December 2017

Skydiving granddad leaps to raise funds for charity

Skydiver: Limerick grandfather Michael Sheahan (78). Photo: Brian Arthur/ Press 22.
Skydiver: Limerick grandfather Michael Sheahan (78). Photo: Brian Arthur/ Press 22.

Danielle Stephens

A grandfather will honour his late wife by jumping out of a plane this weekend to raise much-needed funds for charity.

Michael Sheahan (78), from Dooradoyle, Co Limerick, is hoping to raise €10,000 for aneurysm research by fulfilling one of his lifelong dreams - to go skydiving.

So far, the veteran businessman, who delivers meat to supermarkets, has raised nearly €7,500 from various fundraisers organised by his family and friends.

Mr Sheahan said that he was overwhelmed and grateful for all of the support the community has given him.

"A lady I've known for years, who can barely spare a penny gave me €10 and I could barely hold back the tears," he said.

It's just over a year ago since his wife Evelyn died at the age of 67 of an aneurysm.

The couple had been married for 47 years and Mr Sheahan is adamant that before that day on July 31, 2013, his wife was the fittest lady in Limerick.

"We live in Dooradoyle in Limerick and Evelyn would have no problem walking 5km in and out of town every day, most of the time with a grandchild in a buggy," he added.

Evelyn and Michael first met in 1955, but there was a 10-year age gap, so they didn't get together for nearly two decades.

"She always knew what to say and we never went anywhere without holding hands. I miss that a lot," he added, as he described them as inseparable.

The Limerick man hopes that some of the money donated to the Adrienne Hussey Foundation at the University of Limerick can be used to dedicate a part of the research programme to his late wife.

His granddaughter Grace (17) will join him on Saturday at the Irish Parachute Club in Edenderry, along with the rest of his family of five sons and 10 grandchildren.

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