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Marty’s 4000km coastal walk to raise funds for Friends of the Cancer Centre, Belfast and the Irish Cancer Society

imageHi, I’m Marty Holland. In recent times, I’ve lost two very close friends to cancer. The sense of powerlessness I’ve felt when my friends were dying has motivated me to get out there and do something positive to support cancer charities. 

I plan to walk around the entire coast of Ireland in 2 stages – in 2016, Munster and Leinster and in 2017, Ulster and Connacht. About 4000km in all. I’m starting on 24th May 2016 in my adopted county, Clare. I’ll finish for 2016 on The Border near Newry and recommence there on 20th March 2017. When in the Republic of Ireland, I’ll fund raise for The Irish Cancer Society and when in Northern Ireland for  Friends of the Cancer Centre, Belfast. Both charities do wonderful work in supporting cancer research and cancer sufferers and their families.

 

If you’d like to sponsor me, I’ve set up an online account for donations to Friends of the Cancer Centre, Belfast: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/coastforcancer  

 

If you wish to donate to the Irish Cancer Society, here is the link:     https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/coast-for-cancer 

You can also support me by offering accommodation en route and/or transportation of luggage from a to b. If you can help, please contact me at my email below:

coastforcancer@gmail.com

FaceBook:     http://www.facebook.com/CoastForCancer

Twitter:   @coastforcancer

Donate at:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/coastforcancer

https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/coast-for-cancer

Many thanks for your support.

Dr Marty Holland

Thanks to all who supported me from Donegal to Galway.

The following people made my walk from Donegal back to County Clare possible through their generous hospitality and taking time to support me in many different ways, sourcing accommodation, organising transportation of baggage, ferrying me to   my starting points and picking me up at the end of the day.

My Cratloe neighbour Willie McGonagle’s family in Burnfoot and Buncrana: Catherine McGonagle collected me off the bus in Derry and acted as coordinator of my walk around much of Inishowen; Hugh & Edel McGonagle and son Daniel in Burnfoot put me up; Peter and Gerry provided transportation; Catherine, Lily and Grace gave me their lovely company while walking; Mrs Mary McGonagle offered the hospitality of the family home; Grace’s sisters Aisling and Beth came around to offer their support.

In north Inishowen, Fiona and Liam McCarron, Drumfree, took charge and provided wonderful hospitality, logistical support and company en route. Great interest and encouragement from Abaigh and Lorcan.

Anne and Bert Campbell responded positively to my plea for accommodation and made me most welcome in their charming #ArdeenGuestHouse, Ramelton.

Helen and Sean heard about my journey on local radio and offered me novel accommodation in a very comfortable yurt at their #PortsalonLuxuryCamping. It’s normally self-catering but Helen and Sean included me for dinner and breakfast. Thanks also for transportation of luggage.

Rachel McAteer heard about me through FaceBook and invited me to stay at her parents’, Brendan and Brids’, beautifully positioned #FanadLodge. Extremely hospitable hosts. A warm welcome was also extended to Noelle when she came up to join me for a few days.

Was delighted to accept, my pal from schooldays, Sam Webb’s offer of accommodation in his brother-in-laws place in Carrickart. Many thanks Liam & Anne and Sam from Noelle and myself. Great to meet up with you again Sam after so many years.

Hilary and James Carlisle from Belfast have a beautiful holiday home in Ards near Creeslough. They gave Noelle and myself the use of it during that stage of the journey. Thanks for your hospitality, transportation support and Hilary for your company on the walk. Yet again, Margo Fitzgerald set this all up through her friendship with Hilary and James.

The management team of Orla O’Grady and Sean McIlwee, at the #LochAltanHotel , Gortahork provided us with excellent accommodation for the stages from Dunfanaghy through to Bunbeg. Mary Anne sourced accommodation in Dunglow and Liam transported myself back to Bunbeg and my bag on to Dunglow.

There’s a stunning view of Dunglow bay at sunset from the front of the recently refurbished and modern #WaterfrontHotel Dunglow. Made very welcome by  Joseph, Alanna, Elise and all the staff.

Evelyn & Tony Kitterick and their children Eoin, Joe and Ellen made me feel very welcome in their beautiful home near Portnoo. Extra support provided also with transportation and sourcing of further accommodation.

Liam and Claire of the #NesbittArmsHotel Ardara had no hesitation in offering me a room in that fine hotel when I walked in off the street with nowhere to stay. A lovely town with helpful locals, Michael Molloy of #JohnMolloy knitwear went out of his way to get me back to the start of my trek into Glencolumbkille.

Noelle and Phaid Cunningham (thanks to Evelyn Kitterick, Noelle’s  sister for the contact) offered me a taste of Glencolumbkille life in their beautiful home. Made very welcome by their lovely daughters Abby, Molly and Kacey. Phaid sourced accommodation in Carrick for me, transported baggage and shared his local knowledge as he accompanied me on the walk up Slieve League.

I spent an entertaining Sunday evening in John The Miner’s Central Bar in Carrick. Accommodation provided by John above the bar and breakfast organised across the way in the #SlieveLeagueLodge.

The #TaraHotel in Killybegs provided very comfortable port-side accommodation in Killybegs. Much support with sourcing further accommodation and bag transportation from Erinn and Loretta at the desk.

The #MillParkHotel Donegal Town, manageress Paula and staff. Lovely spot. Ronan transported my bag to Rosnowlagh.

Paul Diver of the #SandhouseHotel Rossnowlagh, gave Noelle and myself a spacious room looking right over the fabulous beach at Rossnowlagh.

In Sligo we were fortunate to have the use of our neighbour Mary Carroll’s family home. Great base for the walk through north Sligo. Mary’s neighbour in Sligo, Christy McLoughlin, was very obliging and sourced accommodation for me in Inishcrone.

Darren of The #Beachbar and B&B, Aughris, Co Sligo, happily obliged when I turned up on his doorstep looking for a bed. Another great location.

Seamus and Dympna Egan, Inishcrone for generous hospitality and logistical support.

Gerry and Mary O’Connor, Ballina, Co Mayo for their great hospitality and much logistical support in north Mayo.

The #WesternStrandHotel, Belmullet – warm hospitality in a friendly place.

Evelyn Cosgrave, #Hillcrest B&B, Bangor Erris  for comfortable accommodation and logistical support.

Fiona and Seamus of #Cafferkey’sBar, Ballycroy gave me B & B and helped with bag transportation.

Bernadette of #MulrannyParkHotel gave me a great base for two nights in this beautiful hotel in a superb setting.

Teresa McGuire very kindly set me up with accommodation and food in centrally located #HotelWestport.

Seemed like the whole village of Louisburg were on my side when I needed them. Peter Sweeney gave me the use of the community owned #LouisburghHolidayCottages, The #CountryKitchen provided dinner and #Ruddy’s Cafe provided breakfast. Support also with bag transportation.

Lovely to stay with my ex- student Bernie Coyle, her husband Johnny and children Riona and Dara in their beautiful home in Tully, Connemara. Extra special support with transportation and baggage.

My colleague in Mary I gave Noelle and myself the keys to her and her husband David’s holiday home in Roundstone which proved a great base for my walks in that part of Connemara.

Michael Cloherty responded positively to my plea for accommodation in the Carna area by accommodating and feeding me in his super friendly #CarnaBayHotel.

My last stop away from home was with young couple Kevin and Aoife in their comfortable home in Casla, Carraroe, Co Mayo.

Sincere thanks to you all.

Marty.   CoastForCancer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The end of the walk – some stats.

The trek is over. I officially completed the grand circumambulation (thanks John Smith, Melbourne, – great word which I had forgotten I knew) of the Irish coast on Sunday 18th June. The location was The Flaggy Shore, Newquay, Co Clare, inspiration for Seamus Heaney’s poem PostScript. A fabulous blue-sky day, joined by Noelle, my girls and their other halves Alice & Stephen & grandson Cohen, Suzie & Myles, Laura & Cillian. It was made extra special by being joined by Michael and Johns’ families and friends. Others who had supported me in as far away places as Caherciveen, Rosslare, Inishowen, Sligo, Ballina (Mayo), Roundstone also made the trip. A lovely banner to greet my finish in The Banner county and then a stroll for everyone along The Flaggy Shore where

the wind and the light are working off each other’ .. ‘inland among stones The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit By the earthed lightening of a flock of swans Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white

It’s a place that will ‘catch the heart off guard and blow it open’ (check out the full version from Heaney)

We were all then treated to home made Ice-cream by Brid and Roger of Linnalla Cafe before heading back to Cratloe for a BBQ. A great day and a great way to wind up the adventure.

Now that I’ve had a chance to sit down and review the whole experience, I thought you might be interested in a few statistics.

The total distance walked was 3480 km (2162 miles). This breaks down by province as Munster 1364km, Leinster 487km, Ulster 934km (Northern Ireland 399km and Donegal 535km) and Connacht 695km.

The number of full days walked was 149 in total.

I walked for 81 days in Munster and Connacht at an average of just under 23km per day.

In Northern Ireland, over a period of 20 days, I only averaged 20km per day, due mainly to blisters slowing me up.

From Donegal back to Clare I walked for 48 days at an average of just short of 26km per day with only two days break from walking.

The furthest distance in a day was  46 km from Kinsale to Crosshaven, followed by 41km from Carna to Casla in Connemara.

Before I set out, I believed, due to my internet research that the total distance would be 2500miles which is 4000km approx. My figure of 3480 km is more accurate. In fact, it may even be a little less than this because I covered more kms in towns when I was fundraising, going up and down streets and roads and in and out of shops and premises.

All in all it was a great experience and, from a fundraising perspective, well worth it. At the moment approximately €49000 raised in the South and £10000 in The North. Will keep you posted on FaceBook and Twitter.

Slainte.

Marty.

CoastForCancer

 

Over £9000 raised during Northern Ireland walk for Friends of the Cancer Centre.

The Northern Ireland phase of my around the coast of Ireland charity walk was as spectacular and enjoyable as I had hoped (except for a few of those darn, persistent blisters which I seem to be prone to). I was met with great kindness and generosity wherever I went, from across all sectors of the community. Over £1500 was donated online and I managed to raise more than £7500 on the road making a total of over £9000! Phenomenal generosity in 20 days of walking. Thank you to all who contributed. Your donation has gone to support a great service. Throughout the trip I met numerous people who had availed of the services of the Friends of the Cancer Centre in the City Hospital and they were all fulsome in their praise for the  work which they do. This was very reassuring for me as I trekked.

As before, I was never stuck for accommodation, someone always came to the rescue after seeing an article in the local paper, on social media, hearing me on the radio or through a mutual contact. Thank you in particular to all the following for providing accommodation:

I started where I left off on the previous stage with a very pleasant stay at The Ballymascanlon Hotel courtesy of owner Oliver Quinn. Renewed thanks from myself and Noelle.

Kilmorey Arms Hotel, Kilkeel accommodation courtesy of owner Lenora. Thanks to all the lovely staff and particularly Claire for transportation of baggage.

Anne and Brian Robinson, Annalong for accommodation, transportation and ferrying of baggage, and for sourcing accommodation in Larne for me.

Maggie Burch and Michael Carleton, Dundrum for accommodation and baggage transfer. Also, Maggie for your company while fundraising and walking and for spreading the word among the Methodist community – resulted in accommodation down the line.

Charley and Pam King, Castlewellan for accommodation and much toing and froing of me and my baggage.

Caroline and Peter McErlaine at the wonderful The Cuan, Strangford.  Well looked after.

Ann and Patrick Byers, Portaferry and for transfer of baggage.

Judi in Cloughey for accommodation and transfer of baggage.

Daphne Twinem, Donaghadee hospitality and for picking me up after fundraising to save me having to walk the extra mile back. Thanks Maggie in Dundrum for your role in this stay.

Jim Holland (brother) and Jo for the usual lovely stay in Benmadigan, Antrim Road, Belfast. Lots of support on every level.

Roy Wilson, Larne for accommodation and much support – and thanks to Anne and Brian, Annalong for making the contact for me.

Sian and Philip Boyle, Glenarm. My youngest hosts so far – very refreshing and a great add for their Baptist community. Great help with transfer of myself, John and our baggage. Thanks to aunty Cathy, Carrickfergus for making the contact.

Annie Bowen, Ardclinis Outdoor Adventure Hostel, Cushendall. Thanks to Margo Fitzgerald for setting this up with Annie.

Gerry and Moira McGouran, Ballycastle for accommodation and logistical support – including taking me to the clinic to get my blisters sorted.

Josie, Aileen and all the McShane family, Sheep Island View Hostel, Balintoy for a lovely friendly stay for myself, John and Paul and for transportation. Thanks to daughter Cara for setting it up – sorry we didn’t get a chance to meet.

Martin and Siobhan Eaton, Coleraine for the use of their apartment in Portstewart and much ferrying to and fro of me and baggage.

Fionnuala and family, Derry for 11th hour generous hospitality and support. Thanks to Sinead Coyle Grego (TASC, University of Leeds) for setting this up.

 

During the Northern Ireland walk I had much more company than before. Additionally, more strangers went out of their way to track me down and offer support. The following helped, in no small way, to make the walk easier and more enjoyable by their company and/or their support:

Brian Black, Kilclief, for the lift back to Ardglass and the welcome at your place en route

Stephen Smith, Lighthouse Communications, Hollywood, for getting his media firm to support my efforts and for company and logistical support along the way from Donagahadee to Hollywood. Hi to wife Jodi and daughter Coco.

Nieces Eileen and Claire for company coming into Bangor and for support in fundraising. Great to see you. And thanks Eileen for setting up the interview on BBC Radio Ulster.

Brian McGlade and Jim Holland for the company and support at various stages along the way from Bangor to County Derry.

Michael OG for the support and for going to the trouble of tracking me down.

Margo Fitzgerald for company from Jordanstown to Carrickfergus. And, for setting up accommodation in Cushendall.

Cathy and all the folk in Abbeyfield and Wesley sheltered housing in Carrickfergus for a great welcome and ongoing support.

Adrienne of John McLoughlin Ferries, Larne for sending out a tug to ferry Jim and myself across the water from Ballylumford.

Henry Hepburn, for coming all the way from Scotland to join me for the day. Mark McHenry for facilitating this and for the lift at the end of the day. Jim Holland’s walking group for coming out in strength for the walk and to offer support from Larne.

John Holland (brother) for being brave enough to successfully take on the challenge of walking from Larne to County Derry with me.

Olwen and Jimmy McTeggart for tracking us down in their camper van to offer warm cups of tea and company on the walk.

Philip’s parents Elaine and Ian for showing us around Glenarm Castle.

The McAllister family, Garnpoint for a welcome and unexpected lunch.

Eamon Hill, Antrim (and Ballycastle) for a huge amount of logistical and practical support from Cushendall to Portrush. Much appreciated.

Paul O’Hara, long time friend from Leeds University days for surprising me with your visit and your company around the North Antrim Coast – was great to catch up again.

Michael Dickson, for tracking us down at site of Marconi’s cottage to offer support and walk a while.

Thanks also to the numerous establishments which offered tea, coffee, drinks, a snack, breakfast, lunch or dinner along the way to keep me fortified and going. Too many to list but all very generous and welcome. Thanks again.

I had two main sponsors for the Northern Ireland walk:

(1) Go Outdoors, Newtownabbey who kindly sponsored me a new pair of trekking shoes, Gortex rain proof leggings and sundries. Very generous, thanks to Orrin for following up on this.

(2) Ordnance Survey Land Registry Directorate Land and Property Services, Belfast for a set of OS maps for Northern Ireland. Thank you Jim Lennon, GI Development for arranging this.

Fond regards to you all.  Marty CoastForCancer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accommodation needed for Northern Ireland coastal stage of my Charity Walk.

As the date looms for recommencing the 4000km charity walk, I’m looking for accommodation on the coast of N. I.

Do you know anyone with a spare bed who would like to support a great cause?  I’m starting near Warrenpoint on the 20th March and working north via Kilkeel, Newcastle, Dundrum, Ardglass, Downpatrick, Lisbane, Greyabbey, Portaferry, Ballywalter, Bangor, (I’m sorted for Belfast), Larne/Ballygalley, Carnlough, Cushendall, Cushendun/Torr Head, (I think I’ll be ok for Ballycastle), Balintoy/Bushmills, Portstewart, Magilligan, Limavady, Derry (by 12th April hopefully). Please contact me by email CoastForCancer@gmail.com

 

Is Strangford Lough part of ‘the coast’?

I’ve completed 1800km of my round the coast of Ireland walk for cancer charities. The walk so far has taken me along the entire coastline of Munster and Leinster, so now for the next legs, as it were, the Ulster and Connacht coasts. I’ll be recommencing on the 20th March outside Newry and walking the northern shoreline of Carlingford Lough as I continue my journey northward. While in Northern Ireland, I’ll be fundraising for The Cancer Centre, Belfast.

I have to decide whether to walk the shores of Strangford Lough or simply hop on the ferry at its mouth from Strangford to Portaferry and proceed up along the east coast via Ballywalter and Bangor. The alternative is to take three days walking up the lough’s west coast towards Newtownards and then back down the east coast to Portaferry.

So, the question is:  Is Strangford Lough ‘the coast’? Does it form an integral part of the Northern Ireland coastline? Will I be shortchanging my supporters and, indeed, myself if I skip across that tiny stretch of water at its mouth on the ferry?

Your thoughts would be most welcome (I hope!).

Marty

FaceBook and Twitter: CoastForCancer

Thanks to all who supported the first 1800km of my charity walk.

Sitting here in sunny Cratloe, It’s hard to believe I’ve just walked 1800km around the Irish coast from the Clare/Galway border to that other Border on the outskirts of Newry. When I first came up with the idea of walking 4000km around the whole coast of Ireland to raise money for The Irish Cancer Society, I decided to do it as soon as possible – time waits for no man etc and also I didn’t want to hesitate or prevaricate in case I chickened out. I found the trick was to immediately start telling people I was going to do it. The more individuals I told, the harder it was to renege on the plan.

The thought of the walking, itself, didn’t really daunt me. Sure, I walk about 5km most days through Cratloe Woods and I’ve done many extended walks in the past. Two three week stints on the Camino and shorter treks over the years at home in Ireland and in equally exotic locations such as Peru, Vietnam, Uganda and France made me feel confident I could handle consistent daily walking. No, what was more daunting was the concept of couch surfing. In the early stages of planning and, let’s face it, I didn’t do too much of that, I had a 10km test walk around the local woods with a full rucksack on my back – I soon realised that while I could do it for a short walk (10km), my body wouldn’t stand up to a prolonged trek with that kind of weight. So, carrying gear and camping was out. Travelling light and sleeping rough might have been ok when I was in my twenties and hitching to Turkey, Greece or across Australia but not really an option in Ireland or, more to the point, at my stage in life. Rheumatism and pneumonia, how are you? No, that was out too. Paying for B&B accommodation along the way would defeat the purpose of the fundraising endeavour, so, I ruled that out also. That left few options until I thought of couch surfing.

Couch surfing! Casting myself out there, at the mercy of people’s kindness, generosity and hospitality. Having the temerity to expect friends and strangers alike to open their doors and offer me a safe place to sleep after each day’s walk. Me, a 65 year old pensioner who should have more sense and must surely have a screw loose. (On the road, when anyone would comment that ‘You must be mad!’, I learned to respond with ‘Well, I seem to be ticking most of the boxes. What do you think?’). I needn’t have had any concerns – about where I was going to sleep that is! The response from the outset was phenomenal. Very early on I received offers of accommodation from all along my proposed route. Friends, neighbours and, heretofore, unknowns rallied to the cause. They would contact me by email, text, phone-call, FaceBook, Twitter or whatever means possible to pledge their support. Some knew of me first hand or through friends, relations and neighbours or had simply come across my proposed adventure on social media or in a newspaper or radio interview. In spots, where I didn’t have anything offered in advance, I found, as I travelled, that someone would take it upon themselves to act on my behalf and secure a bed for me for the night. Actually, I never ever had to sleep on a couch at all.

In the first week of the walk I had some occasions to be a little bit fretful that nothing was organised for the coming night or the night after but things worked out and I decided not to be anxious about accommodation – what was the worst that could happen? If hardy came to hardy, I’d knock on a B & B, pub, priest’s house, Garda station or similar and see if they would offer me a place to lay my head. It never ever came to that, but on more than one morning I set out walking not knowing where I would sleep that night. While I walked, others did the proverbial knocking on doors for me and ensured that I was always provided for that evening. It did come close to the wire at times but always worked out fine in the end. I even found myself being put up in B & Bs and hotels on a few occasions, courtesy of the management.

It was the support from all these well-wishers, who were proactive and true to their word, that kept me going physically and emotionally over the 12 weeks of walking. I’ve only just realised it recently, but the faith they showed in me, by supporting me, spurred me on to put even more effort into the fundraising aspect of the walk. In a sense, I had entered into a contract. It became a partnership, I did the walking and fundraising and they made it possible by looking after my wellbeing. It became incumbent on me to live up to my side of the deal and raise the spondoolicks, the moolah, the cash for the Irish Cancer Society. Circa €31000 by the latest calculation. All made possible by those who supported, pampered and spoiled me along the route. Primarily, those who provided accommodation (and often food), sourced accommodation on my behalf, transported baggage, transported me when I needed to get back to my accommodation. But also, those who offered a cup of coffee, a lunch, a meal or just a word of encouragement. I don’t know all their names and, anyway, there are too many to list individually but, by their positive response, they buoyed me up and by their support played their part, major or minor, in raising the €31000.

Then, there are the numerous individual who went to the trouble of making an online donation. Your collective generosity contributed almost €5000 of the overall total – phenomenal! Not to forget the friends and neighbours who contributed €950 through Noelle’s coffee morning way back last May. To all of you, on my behalf, and on behalf of the Irish Cancer Society, sincerest thanks.

In a previous post I’ve thanked those who assisted my journey through Clare and Kerry to Bantry, Co Cork. The following are those who assisted my journey from Bantry to The Border through provision of accommodation and logistical support.

From Bantry to The Border special thanks to all the following:

Kathleen O’Sullivan, Seaview House Hotel, Ballylickey, Bantry, Co Cork

Ciaran and Rose Cronin, Ahakista, Sheep’s Head Peninsula

James O’Mahony (Founding father of the glorious Sheep’s Head Way) for sourcing accommodation in Goleen and for transportation of baggage.

Mary Kingston, her son Michael and daughters Nora and Monica, Goleen, Mizen Peninsula for accommodation, logistics, transportation and sourcing of further accommodation.

Tim Looney and staff of The West Cork Hotel for accommodation for myself and Noelle.

Mary Jo and Frank O’Gorman and family, Cuan Dor B&B, Rosscarbery for their generosity in putting myself, Noelle and Suzie up. And, for sourcing and sorting accommodation for me in Clonakilty.

Teresa O’Neill and her son Neil, Fernhill House Hotel, Clonakilty for accommodation. And, Aishling at reception who sourced the next night’s accommodation in Courtmacsherry and transported my baggage.

Canice O’Driscoll and owner Billy Adams of the Courtmacsherry Hotel for accommodation.

Sabina and John Jennings, for accommodation near Timoleague and transportation & logistics.

Susan Draper for logistical support and baggage transportation.

Susan and Bill Griffith, Kinsale for accommodation.

Heather and Daniel Nuzum and family, Carrigaline for accommodation and transport.

Mary Cahill, Knockadoon, East Cork for accommodation, transportation, logistical support and company on my walks.

Laura Regan, husband Michael Morrissey and kids, Dungarvan, Co Waterford for accommodation, logistical support and transportation of baggage. And, also for sourcing accommodation in Dunmore East.

Mary Harney, Dungarvan for transportation.

Ursula Doherty, Tramore for accommodation and transportation of baggage.

Clifden Foyle, owner, The Strand Inn, Dunmore East, Waterford, for accommodation.

Here’s where I have to confess that my notes aren’t as well filed as I thought. I was given a lift back from Passage East to The Strand Inn, Dunmore East, after a particularly long days walk and fundraising, by a guy who stopped to tell me that he was only going up the road. When I told him what I was engaged in he happily gave me a lift back to Dunmore. The following morning the breakfast chef in The Strand Inn, when he had finished his shift, gave me a lift back to Passage East to get the ferry across to Wexford. Even though I’ve misplaced the names, I remember your kindness very well. Thank you both.

Pauline Kelly, Duncannon, Wexford for accommodation. And, to daughter Elaine, granddaughter Sophie and Daithi who transported me to my starting point and my baggage to Kilmore Quay.

Mayor of Wexford, Frank Staples, who, when contacted by Assumpta Halligan, worked on my behalf to find a place for the night.

To Mary and Peter Cousins & family, Kilmore, Wexford, who when they went off to work that morning didn’t know they were going to have a house guest that very evening. Thank you for the accommodation, transport, local knowledge and fundraising support.

Assumpta and Mac, Rosslare Harbour, for accommodation, logistical and transport support and for your company on significant stretches of the walk.

Mary Fitzharris, Wexford for accommodation and logistical support/transportation of baggage and for accompanying me through Wexford town.

Eileen and Francis Porter, Courtown, Gorey, and their son John for accommodation and transport.

Maire and Carl Coates, Hollyfort, Wexford for accommodation.

Grainne Murphy, Manager, Wexford Bay Hotel for accommodation, pampering and transportation (on your day off!) and logistical support.

Alan from Dooley Poynton Auctioneers, Wicklow for transportation.

Rob and Mary Tierney, Kilcoole, Wicklow, for accommodation, logistics and transportation of luggage.

Tim and Claire O’Sullivan, Raheny, Dublin for accommodation, logistics, transportation and helping me to heal my torn muscle. And, for accompanying me on the first part of my walk to the Hill of Howth.

Mag Leahy for organising, and sorting the finances, for accommodation in Hamilton House B&B, Skerries, Co Dublin.

Dr Maurice Collins for assisting my journey through Co. Dublin, Meath and Louth from his base in Warwickshire.

Brian, Beth and Saorla Ruan, Balbriggan, for their cartographic, geographical, logistical, transportational and inspirational support.

John and Terry Fitzgerald and family, Baltray, Co Louth for accommodation and transport of baggage.

Willie McGonagle, neighbour and friend, for connecting me with the Fitzgeralds.

Dairina McKeown, Clogher Head for accommodation and a gathering of friends.

Oliver Quinn, Ballymascanlon Hotel, Dundalk for accommodation

Gee, hope I didn’t miss out anyone, Always a possibility. If I did, please accept my apologies and put it down to brain fatigue through over exposure to miles and miles of good will and support.

Best wishes to all of you. Keep in touch. Marty

Lastly, my gratitude to Noelle for her support throughout for my venture and for her presence for memorable stages of the walk, and to Suzie for travelling from London to join me on the walk in West Cork, to Alice and Cohen for being with me around Galley head and Red Strand and Laura for technical and moral support.

What a fabulous bunch of people I’ve met on my travels. What a privilege to have been invited into their homes and offered their support and friendship. May the next 2200km be so well supported and assisted. Next year, may I meet such wonderful individuals. Then, of course, in The Wee North how can I fail to do so?

Marty