Dingle dad takes the long way around

The cyclists who are riding from St James, Dingle to St James in Spain for charity
The cyclists who are riding from St James, Dingle to St James in Spain for charity

Marian O'Flaherty

DINGLE to Spain on a bicycle was a big enough ask but this weekend one proud father will travel from Dingle to Dublin and back again before heading to Shannon Airport, flying to France and then cycling to Spain.

The detour is being taken to ensure he doesn't miss his son playing in Croke Park this Saturday.

Accountant Seán Ó Suilleabháin is one of four cyclists who had planned to cycle from St James Church on Dingle's Main Street to St James in Santiago de Compostela to raise funds for the Kerry – Cork Health Link Bus.

The cycle was inspired by the voyage undertaken by 29 pilgrims in 2007 who left Dingle Harbour on board the Jeanie Johnson to sail to La Coruna in Spain before walking the Camino Ingles, thus re-enacting a pilgrimage that was customary hundreds of years ago.

The cycle departure date was set for this Saturday but little did Seán know that this would also be the day of reckoning for his footballing son, Tom, and Dingle's Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne who face St Pats Maghera in the Hogan Cup Final in Croke Park.

"The Camino Cycle has been set since last November and we have been training for it since last November but little did we think that we would be in the Corn Uí Hogáin Final in Croke Park on the day of our departure," said Seán.

"Four of us planned to go over but I will be holding back as I want to be there when Corn Uí Hogáin is brought to Daingean Uí Chúis!" he added optimistically.

Seán will head from Dingle to Dublin for the match on Saturday before returning to Dingle with the PCD team with (fingers crossed) the silverware in tow.

From there it is on to Shannon Airport where Seán will fly to France to rendezvous with his fellow cyclists Mícheál Ó Conchúir, Mícheál Ó Coileáin and Seanachán MacGearailt before cycling over 1,000 miles to Santiago de Compestela in Spain over ten days.


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