Tuesday 23 April 2019

Dermo will take you on tour

Dermot Higgins as ‘Thomas Hand’ on the street in Skerries named after him
Dermot Higgins as ‘Thomas Hand’ on the street in Skerries named after him

John Manning

Dermot Higgins, the oldest person to cycle around the world, will officially launch the Skerries Cycling and Walking Tours Company, this week.

This tour company promises something of a unique 'spin' on the standard tour as participants have the opportunity of meeting some of the fascinating characters who feature in the past and present of the town.

These characters will be making an appearance at the launch on Friday.

Talking about his new venture, the Skerries adventurer and former teacher said: 'Yes, I do believe that at last, I've landed myself the 'dream job' !

'After 35 years of being cooped up in stuffy classrooms, I'm shortly going to be unleashed onto the streets of Skerries and on the byroads of Fingal, this time as a tour guide. Look out Skerries, -Dermo's back!'

He said: 'On Friday at 7pm , in the Goat in a Boat at the Harbour in Skerries, I'll be launching my next big adventure-'Skerries Cycling and Walking Tours'. You're all welcome to join me there.

'In 2018, I became the oldest person to cycle around the world. Now, I've set my sights on sharing my passion for adventure, fun and learning with anyone who's interested enough to book one of my tours.

'Unlike most cycling or walking tours, I'll be adding a touch of drama to your tour by giving you the opportunity to meet in person, some of the characters who have shaped the town.'

Dermot explained: 'You'll meet Sitric Mc Lochlann, the bewildered Viking, Percy French as he struggles with rhyming couplets on Red Island, Thomas Hand on the day he was shot by the infamous Black and Tans and of course, St. Patrick himself who hasn't forgiven the citizens of Skerries for their misdeeds.

'These and a host of others, some of whom will surprise even those who think they know all there is to know about Skerries, will educate, entertain and inform you on the half day or full day walking or cycling tour of Skerries.'

The Skerries cyclist said: 'I've trawled through the archives, read every issue of the Skerries Historical Society's excellently written Time and Tide and most importantly, I've had the benefit of hearing a wealth of anecdotes and yarns from historian, writer and artist Hugh Fitzgerald Ryan

'Yes! A tour with me is very definitely going to be, as my logo states, 'a breath of fresh Skerries air' and a new 'spin' on the standard cycling or walking tour.'

Skerries Cycling and Walking Tours are suitable for all ages and abilities. On the half day tours, we cover a distance of approximately 7km, if cycling and 5km if walking, all of course at a very leisurely pace. The tours are very reasonably priced, costing from as little as €20 ,-and that includes a delicious home-made scone with tea or coffee from the fantastic Goat in a Boat at Skerries Harbour. Of course, there are discounts for children and large groups.

For cyclists who are slightly more adventurous, there are full day and half day tours of Fingal also available.

For more go to www.skerriescyclingand

School tours and customised tours for all kinds of groups are also available.

Fingal Independent