| 18.9°C Dublin

'I made a promise to do it', says Michael (87) on 100km walk


Michael Connolly

Michael Connolly

Michael Connolly

Michael Connolly admits that in his late 80s he is more like the tortoise than the hare, but that won't stop him on his quest to walk 100km to raise money for cancer research.

The big-hearted great-grandfather and former mechanic (87) has had a brush with the disease himself, but when his daughter Breege was diagnosed recently he decided he had to do something while he was still fit to raise funds.


The Monaghan native began his journey in a symbolic way on Wednesday at his old school in his native county.

While his initial plan was to walk from there to his home in Sutton, he was advised that a roadside walk in winter for a man of his vintage might not be wise.

"I'll be doing laps of St Anne's Park (Raheny) in the next 10 days to a fortnight, with some supporters to keep an eye on me, to raise money and awareness for cancer research," Michael told the Herald.

"I'm a fit man for my age, and was always into keeping fit. I did a few Dublin Marathons in my day,.

"My speed wouldn't be the best now, but I have good stamina.

"My family has been affected by cancer. I have had cancer recently, but I'm over it now.

"My son had a battle with it in the past, but it was more recently when my daughter Breege was diagnosed that I got the idea to do something.

"I made a promise to myself to do it, and I always keep my promises."

Michael has been getting into training for his walk by putting in some miles in the park in recent days.

"It's safe in there and there's no traffic, and if the weather turns bad there are places to shelter," he said.

"I've been spreading the word around Sutton about my plan, and I have a lot of support.

"I'm hoping that if I get the message to a wider audience then maybe we can raise more money for such important work."


Michael lives with his wife Celia, and when he told her he was planning something to raise money for charity he admits that she thought he might be mad.

"She knows me well," Michael added with a laugh.

If you would like to donate to Michael's fund donations will be gratefully appreciated at AIB Bank, Sutton, Dublin 13, with the IBAN IE64AIBK93236130250028.