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