Rules of the Coast For Cancer walk. On FaceBook, this post provides a link to my blog.

Since starting the Coast For Cancer walk, I’ve been conscious of the need to establish, in my own mind, a set of rules to help me when deciding which route or path to take. So far, these are my rules for the Coast For Cancer walk; I’d like to share them with you.

  1. No rule is more important than the physical, emotional and personal well being of the walker.
  2. All rules are organic in nature and subject to change as the walk unfolds.
  3. The route of the walk will be as close to the coastline as is possible, safe and sensible.
  4. The walk will follow established coastal paths, tracks, national Ways and beaches where possible.
  5. Roads will be used in the absence of the above.
  6. Rivers and river estuaries do not constitute coastline.
  7. Where a river or estuary is encountered it will be crossed, as close to the coast as possible, by whatever means is available.
  8. Where bridges and ferries exist for ease of travel across narrow harbours, loughs and inlets, they may be utilised.
  9. In the case of roads, the roadway which runs closest to the coast will be used.
  10. In relation to rule 9, where the access and egress roads to a road closer to the coast are each longer than the road closer to the coast and where walking a more landward and parallel road does not affect the integrity of the coastal route, the walker reserves the right to choose which road to walk. (Don’t worry, I know what this means!).
  11. In general, islands will not be walked.
  12. Where an island provides a stepping stone from one section of coastal walk to the next and there is one way on and another way off, the walker reserves the right to walk the island either on the seaward side or the landward side; whichever is more desirable.
  13. Headlands which have one route out and the same route back may be skipped, if the walker so wishes.
  14. The list shall not have 13 rules ūüėČ.



Link to my Blog: Soft launch today before official one tomorrow



From Newquay, where I started today, it’s only a 10 minute walk to the Flaggy Shore, immortalised in Seamus Heaney’s poem, Postscript:



My ex colleague, John Hayes, told me recently that Friel was with Heaney that day. John knows those kind of things. They would have seen dozens of swans then, and so it has been until this year – now only three swans today. A sad number.

But, the Burren was stunning on a glorious day.

17 km today. A great intro to the big launch tomorrow.

Walk Starts Tomorrow

Just ¬†back from Anne and Pete’s wedding in County Antrim. Great occasion. ¬†Probably not the best preparation ¬†for a big walk but wouldn’t have missed it for the world and the wedding was planned well in advance of my walk!

Now the reality. Starting walking tomorrow. Two voices in my head:

1. ‘Will be great to get out there and actually start the walk and see how the plan pans out’.

2. ‘Whose smart idea was this?’

No 1 is winning at the moment. Couldn’t do it without Noelle’s support and she’s 100% behind the whole idea.

Talking of ideas, my good friend from Leeds University days, Liz Navin Jones, sowed the seed of the idea when we met her and her husband Mike in Leeds about 8 weeks ago – she’s walking the coast of GB for fun. That got me thinking that I could do similar in Ireland but for the cause which had so much significance for me in recent time: The Irish Cancer Society.¬†

So here I am at the stage of packing to go. Received a great boost when I got back from the North and maps from Ordnance Survey Ireland had arrived.


OSI are supporting my walk with the sponsorship of a complete set of Discovery Series maps. Wonderful. Despite all the online navigational aids available today, I still think that there’s nothing to beat a good Ordnance Survey map for planning a walk and checking your route.

So, after an interview with Clare FM tomorrow I’m off to Newquay to do a warm up 16km walk to Ballyvaughan before my official start from Hyland’s Burren Hotel at 10am on Tuesday morning. Reminds me of ‘one small step for man .. etc’ or probably more aptly ‘each journey of 4000km begins with a single step’.





Plans for the 4000km walk going well

Hi, thought you might like to know how plans for my 4000km Irish coastal walk for The Irish Cancer Society are going.

I’m all set for a soft launch on¬†Monday 23rd May¬†from Newquay (outside Linnane’s Lobster bar)


I’ve an interview with ClareFM around 11.30a.m ¬†so probably start at Newquay at 1.30p.m. Walking 16km via The Flaggy Shore to Ballyvaughan.

Hyland’s Burren Hotel in Ballyvaughan have kindly agreed to put me up and have the official launch on Tuesday 24th at 10.00am from their fine establishment. Thanks George.


Hyland’s has a special significance as Noelle and myself spent a great weekend here with Michael and Breda for the inaugural Burren Walking Festival¬†a few¬†years ago. George tells me that the rooms have been totally refurbished and I can attest to the welcome being as warm as ever – so can’t wait.

Offers of accomodation have been steadily coming in. Apart from family,¬†friends and aquaintances¬†I’ve had offers from Dunmore East, Rosslare Harbour, Loop Head, Doolin, Wexford and Galway from people who don’t even know me!¬†My Doolin offer even includes home cooking and an offer to pick me up and drop me off again.

I’ve got¬†North Kerry fairly well pinnned down¬†with the O’Connor clan and offers from friends in¬†Fenit, Camp, Annascaul, Caherdaniel and¬†beyond. I’ll put a fuller list up before I set out on the walk.

People have been exceedingly generous with their online donations to date. Much more so than I¬†ever expected.¬†The Irish Cancer society¬†now have nearly ‚ā¨1100 online and ‚ā¨120 in cash and cheques. Many many thanks!



Twitter:           @coastforcancer


Donate at:

How to write a good press release

I’ve been told that I need a Press Release to send to various media outlets if I’m going to reach the required audience.

Where to start when you’re new to this kind of thing?

So, I googled ‘good press release’ and found some words of wisdom from The Huffington Post. Namely:

  1. Grab attention with a good headline – Yeah I think I can do that.
  2. Get right to the point in the first paragraph –¬†In other words don’t waffle Marty
  3. Include hard numbers – 4000 hard kilometres, many on hard roads, perhaps?
  4. Make it grammatically flawless – ¬†That should be know¬†(ūüėČ) problem.
  5. Include quotes whenever possible – Hold on, don’t ask me to start talking to myself
  6. Include your contact information РSo, you can contact me here
  7. Two pages maximum – I love being economical

After taking all that on board, here goes.

Marty’s Press Release¬†ūüďĮ

Couch-surfing pensioner set to walk 4000km around Irish coast for Cancer Charity.

Dr. Marty Holland, a retired university lecturer from Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, is set to embark on a solo walk around the entire coastline of Ireland to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society.

En route he hopes to find accommodation through ‚Äėcouch-surfing‚Äô and through provision of a place to sleep by supporters and well-wishers.

Marty who lives in Cratloe, Co Clare, will start the walk on Tuesday 24th May on the Clare ‚Äď Galway border. His marathon trek will take him in an anti-clockwise direction along the Munster and Leinster coasts. He will walk until the end of September and then recommence in April 2017 when he will walk the Ulster and Connacht coasts.

The total walk will cover in the region of 4000km. Marty hopes to manage between 20 and 30 km per day depending on the conditions. Coastal roads and established paths and walk ways will be the main routes, always sticking as close to the coast as is possible and safe.

Those interested in mapping his progress can follow Marty’s blog, his Facebook page, and check for Twitter updates @CoastForCancer. In the blog and on Facebook, a personalised link to the MyCharity website,, will enable those who wish to make an online donation to do so.

Marty, who was inspired to take up the challenge after witnessing two close friends battle cancer in recent times, says, “the sense of powerlessness that I felt when my friends Michael and John were dying from cancer has motivated me to get out there and do something positive to help combat cancer‚ÄĚ. The Irish Cancer Society funds invaluable work in the areas of cancer research and support services so Marty hopes to raise money to help them in their work.

Like most Irish people, down through the years Marty has seen a number of relations, friends and colleagues succumb to the disease but he is quick to point out that, increasingly, the picture is brighter for those who get cancer ‚ÄúI see the benefits of on-going research in the growing number of those who have survived and recovered from cancer including my own sisters and a brother.”

Apart from the obvious challenge of the kilometres to be walked, Marty identifies accommodation and transportation of gear as two key logistical issues, “I am confident that people will be generous in their support for this worthy cause by way of financial donations, there are few out there whose lives have not been touched by cancer, but, to keep costs down, I‚Äôll also be dependent on peoples‚Äô good will and generosity in offering me somewhere to put my head down for the night and in getting my rucksack transported from A to B.”

Those wishing to offer support of any kind can contact Marty directly at his email address. He would particularly welcome offers of accommodation and/or transportation of luggage from point to point along the route:



Twitter: @CoastForCancer



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: ¬†


If you wish to donate to the Irish Cancer Society, here is the link: 

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:


Twitter:   @coastforcancer

Donate at:

Many thanks for your support.

Dr Marty Holland