Thursday 20 June 2019

Liam's stunning act of strength

Hubert Murphy

Liam O'Keeffe has always answered the call when it comes to charity challenges, but last Saturday was surely his biggest test.

He took on the task of performing 3,019 crossover chest reps inside an hour.

It was a fundraiser for Hannah the Warrior Princess to allow her the chance to come home after many months in hospital.

It was also his 66th birthday, but this would be no party.

He began well and clocked up 1,000 reps in 15 minutes.

As he powered on, a live feed from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital suddenly appeared, with Hannah at the end of the line watching the challenge develop.

Liam completed 1,500 reps in 21 minutes and 2,500 11 minutes later.

And as the excitement built and roared on by his team, Liam hit his target in 39 minutes, a staggering 21 minutes ahead of schedule.

As Mayor Frank Godfrey described him as a credit to the town and its people, Liam said he wanted to do something truly positive for the town, after all the bad headlines of recent weeks.

He said he also wanted to dedicate his effort to those that couldn't achieve what he had done.

'I can do this and I just wanted to give a little back to others who may not be healthy enough to try this.'

He has spent a lifetime in the sport and has raised thousands of euro for various causes in that time.

After his incredible effort, family gathered around and presented him with a cake to mark the big birthday.

'I'll go home now for a rest and then it's off to work,' he stated.

Integral manager Justin paid tribute to Liam's ageless efforts.

''He is very popular around the place and lads half his age could not do what he just did,' he stated. 'It comes from his great conditioning.'

Liam also thanked Integral for their support - along with his sponsors and sponsor card volunteers - and said the members had accommodated him in his attempt.

'Now I want to see Hannah getting home and that will be the icing on the cake and the reason I did this,' he said.

Drogheda Independent