Don’t miss the following Job and Internship Opportunities!

Here is the latest Job, Internship and CE Scheme Update for Ballinasloe! Tell someone you know!

jobs

Graphic/ Web Designer – KPW

Apprentice Carpenter – FÁS (2nd, 3rd or 4th year)

Production Operative – KPW (Internship)

Receptionist/Bookkeeper – RGR Partners Accountants Limited (Internship)

Sales Assistant – Paul Byron Shoes

Bookkeeper – Internship

Social Worker – Brothers of Charity 

Purchasing Officer – CE Scheme

General Carpentry Assistant – CE Scheme TWO Positions Available!!

Ballinasloe Area Community Development Limited AGM 16TH April 2015

BACD Ltd recently held a very successful AGM in Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre, with special guest, Minister Ann Phelan in attendance along with local council & oireachtas members, business and community activists along with guests from the Burren Lowlands Development Company, Loughrea Chamber of Commerce and Galway Rural Development.

BACD AGM

Johnny Walsh, Seamus Duffy (Chairman BACD Ltd) Ann Phelan TD (Minister for Rural Affairs & Transport), Lyn Donnelly (BACD Ltd Manager), Senator Micheal Mullins

The successful previous 12 months of the development company were reviewed including full details of the Enterprise Centre, Ballinasloe Life Magazine, the launch of http://www.ballinasloe.ie and the Ballinasloe Town Benchmarking report along with the various and numerous other community projects the company is involved with.

mary phelan

Minister Phelan congratulated and commended all involved in the different projects and groups in the area and enthused that Ballinasloe should be showcased throughout the country, to highlight how rural towns can ensure their vibrancy and economic viability. She outlined the current government strategies for Rural Ireland including the €250m rural funding programme and the forthcoming Rural Economic Zone pilot schemes.

During the course of the meeting, the existing directors were re-elected and a clarion call was made to all business and community members with an interest in the prosperity of Ballinasloe & its hinterland to become members of the company(at the new reduced rate of €30 per annum).

There was also a call for more businesses in the area to support Ballinasloe Life Magazine and to actively engage in the benchmarking process, with the report available for review and comment on http://www.ballinalsoe.ie.

BACD AGM 2

Teresa Clay (Lowland Development Company), Seamus Dufy (Chairman BACD Ltd) Paddy Keane, Johnny Walsh, Ann Phelan TD (Minister for Rural Affairs & Transport), Paul Hardagon (Director BACD Ltd), Marion Ruane, Tomas Gullane, Senator Micheal Mullins

For further details about the AGM and the development companies plans contact Lyn Donnelly in Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre 0909646516.

THRILLING Cawley Cup Win for Ballinasloe Juniors! – Match Report here!

Final Score: Ballinasloe 10 – Westport 7

Ballinasloe Rugby Club PRO, Liam Courtney has the full match report!

‘The Ballinasloe Junior Rugby team put in a huge second half performance to pull off a well deserved victory over former Junior Cup holders Westport at Tuam RFC grounds on Friday evening, April 17.

Originally fixed for Crowley Park, the late transfer to Tuam would have inconvenienced followers from both sides, however, those who made it to the well turned out north Galway venue were treated to a most entertaining and keenly contested game of rugby.

Westport would have entered the fray as the bookies favourites, following their recent historic win in the aforementioned Junior Cup. A question mark hung over Ballinasloe’s match sharpness due to a lack of game time in recent weeks but as it turned out, Noel Mannion and Kevin Tierney had their charges well primed for this contest.

Ballinasloe showed early eagerness and looked like the more purposeful side in the opening exchanges of the game, shading the territory and possession stakes. Their No.8, Kevin Gavin was posing a threat by taking the ball forward and breaking the gain line before Westport could re-group and cut off any developing danger.

They had an opportunity to take the lead after 13 minutes, but Ross Keller pulled his penalty kick to the left of the posts.

Minute’s later Westport flanker, Chris Ryan, brought play deep into the Ballinasloe half for the first time and there followed some smart passing by the Bulls backs to create a try for Kevin Corcoran – converted by Sean Tobin.

Keller was wide with a second kick at goal as an improving Westport pack was beginning to dominate in the scrum. It was third time lucky for Keller when he landed a penalty in the 34th minute after Westport were penalised for coming in at the side of a ruck.

As the Mayo side drove forward with menace they could have extended their lead before the break but Tobin was off target with a kick at goal. Leading 7-3 at half time, Westport looked as if their improving play in the later stages of the first period would see them home.

Both sides were prepared to play cagey rugby on the turnover, with little adventure to excite the followers in the stand. However, this was short lived, as Ballinasloe began to take the Bulls by the horns (no pun intended of course!) and upped their intensity.

Westport’s Conor Hastings carried the brunt for too many penalties conceded by his team and was yellow carded in the 54th minute. Cue now for Ballinasloe to introduce their talisman John Hayes from the bench and the hope for impact was about to be realised.

The winners were now playing with renewed spirit and brought grit and determination to their game that was not quite present earlier on. They drove forward like men possessed, playing much of the game inside the Westport 22. Westport were in a real dog fight and the question was: could they keep their try line intact?

Ballinasloe were like wolves at the door, continuing to bark. First Ross Keller and then J.J.Carey came close to breaching the Bulls defence. Conal Gormley made two searing bursts and still Liam Scahill and his colleagues held out. But the winner’s persistence paid off in the 69th minute when Hayes, with assistance from his pack, eventually barged over for the all important try.

Keller, now with his dander up, landed the conversion and Ballinasloe had nudged 10-7 ahead. One felt it was going to be the winning score as it never looked like being a high scoring game on the evening. Westport had one last bite of the cherry and put together a driving haul that started in their own half and made its way menacingly into Ballinasloe territory. A tense moment for players, management and spectators, but the winners held their nerve and discipline and turned the ball over – and the Cawley Cup was on its way to Graigueawoneen. Hard earned but oh so thoroughly deserved!

The Team!

A. Mannion, D. Burke, C. Gormley, R. Cullinan, D. Freeman, R. Keller, M. Tierney, J.J. Carey, A.O’Hara, T. Dolan, M. Harrigan, K. Headd (capt), A. Loughrey, K. Gavin, R. Wakefield.

Subs: G. Donnellan, N. Staunton, H. Reynolds, J. Hayes, R. Sheppard,

Other Rugby News!

Congratulations to the Ballinasloe U14’s on capturing the Connacht Cup recently! They put in a big second half performance to overcome a strong Sligo side, finishing with an impressive score of 19-0. It was their second game in four days, having won the semi final on Wednesday April 15 .

U14 Connacht Cup Final

Ballinasloe 19
Buccaneers 0

This Ballinasloe team secured its back-to-back Connacht Cup Title with a great victory over Buccaneers in the U14 final in the Sports ground on Sunday April 19 –  following their victory over Sligo in last season’s U13 Connacht Cup.

In glorious albeit windy conditions, Ballinasloe started the game on the front foot, however, as in their victory over Corinthians in the semi-finals, they failed to take advantage of early pressure and soon found themselves on the back foot against a very physical and well drilled Buccaneers team.

U14

Ódhran Dooley was an essential presence in defence, leading his pack superbly in repelling attack after attack. Meanwhile, James Carry had an excellent first half, relieving pressure on the team with some brilliant ball carrying and with the help of the excellent Jason Cunningham denying the Buccaneers of a try.

In the second half, Ballinasloe were on the offensive from the start, the forwards retained possession brilliantly to allow the backs to spread the ball out wide with Shane Jennings touching down in the corner.

Missing the conversion, Ballinasloe led 5-0 and they never looked back, continuing to pile pressure on the opposing team. The line-out was turned on its head as a result of putting massive pressure on the Buccaneers, forcing mistakes and stealing the ball with the excellent Ódhran Dooley, Oisin McCormack, Fergus Finneran, Luke Dunne and Paddy Grehan leading the way along with Jamie, Seamie and James who all carried well.

Cian Treacy, wearing number 10 for the local side played to the conditions superbly, increasing pressure and showcasing his great kicking skills throughout the match.

With 12 minutes to go, Ballinasloe deservedly scored their 2nd try – with Treacy picking out his winger Sean Horkan, sending him an excellent 40 metre cross field kick. Sean caught the ball 35 metres out and without breaking stride stepped inside his opposing number and finished brilliantly in the corner, despite best efforts of the Buccaneers fullback.

Treacy added an additional two scores to the scoreboard, extending his team’s lead to 12-0. As a result of a great team effort, Shane Jennings scored his 2nd try of the day, which again was brilliantly converted by Treacy to extend the lead to 19-0.

The celebrations at the final whistle were well deserved and displayed just how much this meant to the team, coaches and supporters.

The Ballinasloe Captain for the day, Cormac Finn stepped up to receive the Cup with his team-mates around him – the joy on their faces further proof of how much the win meant to them as a group.

U14 connacght champs

According to management, ‘This team are a talented group with some exceptional individuals. It would be too easy to say this is why they win games, as there is much more to them than that. They train the way they play – with total commitment. They put in the hard yards with the pyramids, shuttle runs, the 5 minute runs (which tend to be 7 minute runs) and hail, rain or snow they are out there on the training field putting in a great effort. This bunch of lads put in a massive effort week in week out throughout the season, supported by their parents and again this season they received their rewards for the massive effort that they have put in.’

The management team would like to thank parents for their continued support.

– Tom, Gearóid & Derek

More success!

In addition, the U13’s beat Claremorris in their cup semi final on Tuesday evening.

Great success for the club and the town all around!

– By Liam Courtney, Club PRO.

Local swimmers’ recent success in ‘Trojan’ Gala!

A huge congratulations to 12 local swimmers from the Ballinasloe & District Swimming club who recently participated in the Trojan Gala.

The competition was held at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin on Sunday April 12th and proved to be a great test of endurance and skill for the young athletes. Competition was exceptionally strong according to management, with over 600 swimmers competing on the day, including swimming clubs from Belfast, Enniskillen, Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny, Cavan Dundalk, Mullingar, Longford & New Ross.

Swim

10&U Winning Relay Team at the Trojan Gala in Dublin on April 12: Ruth Dolan, Ava McKeon, Caoimhe Kennedy & Ailbhe Hanrahan.

The 10&U girls relay team did the club proud, considering they were up against strong competition. Ruth Dolan, Ava McKeon, Caoimhe Kennedy & Ailbhe Hanrahan all put in fantastic performances, which earned their team 1st place. Well done girls!

Ruth Dolan continued her success, winning Gold in the 10&U Breast & Butterfly Competition, Silver in the Backstroke Competition and last but not least, finished 4th in the Freestyle Competition.

Ruth beat the Gala record for the Girls 10&U Butterfly with an amazing time of 36.78 which was a marvellous achievement. This is the 2nd year in a row that Ballinasloe have beaten the Gala record for the Butterfly – Ava McKeon claimed this great title last year for the Girls 8&U Butterfly – A truly talented and inspirational bunch of swimmers it must be said!

Swim2

Ava McKeon won 2 Silver medals – in the 9&U Breaststroke & Freestyle & also won 2 Bronze medals in both the Backstroke & Butterfly.

Tara McKeon was up against stiff competition in the 11&U category, also competing in the 12&U competitions. She had 5 strong swims on the day & got a splendid time of 1.16.76 in her 100 Freestyle – less than 2 seconds off a Division 2 time.

Caoimhe Kennedy also performed exceptionally well, placing in the top 10 in both the 10&U Freestyle & Backstroke.

Meanwhile, Ailbhe Hanrahan had 3 strong swims in the 10&U Freestyle, Backstroke & Breaststroke.

Tani McCormack swam well in all 4 strokes in the 9&U Girls and Kayla McKeon finished in the top 10 in both the 8&U Backstroke & Breaststroke.

Swim3

Erin Gallagher competed in the U9 Backstroke & Breaststroke & swam well in what was her very first gala!

James Mooney competed in the 11-12 50 & 100 Breaststroke. James, who is 11 was also up against older competitors but performed strongly in both swims. He got a fantastic time of 1.38.50 in the 100 metre Breaststroke – yet another Division 2 time secured for the club!

Conor Hogan, also 11 swam against older competitors in the 11-12 boys Freestyle, Backstroke & Breaststroke.

Rowan Harley was up against stiff competition in the 13&over Boys 100m Freestyle & Backstroke. He obtained PB’s in both. His brother, Conor Harley finished in the top 5 in both the 10&U Freestyle & Breaststroke & in the top 10 in the Butterfly – a great day all around for the Harley family!

Leon McKeon finished in the top 10 in the 8&U Freestyle, Backstroke & Breaststroke.

In a short note, club PRO Monica McKeon remarked on the great success of the young competitors who put in a great effort on the day:

‘Well done to all of you, we are very proud of your performances. For the relay team to bring home the Gold competing against the top Dublin clubs is a fantastic accomplishment for both the swimmers & their dedicated coaches Kayo & Rochelle.’

On behalf of the team here at Ballinasloe Life magazine, we wish the Ballinasloe & District Swimming Club continued success in the months to come! Keep up the great work!

Swim4

Town Benchmarking Report NOW Available!!

We are delighted to present you with the Ballinasloe Town Benchmarking Report which was commissioned by BACD and drawn up by People and Places Ltd.

The purpose of Town Centre Economic Benchmarking is to collect standardised key performance indicators (KPIs) to help local organisations and businesses to better understand the function, trends and issues facing our  town and its potential relative to similar towns elsewhere.

The approach is ‘tried and tested’ as it has been operating across over 200 towns in England and Wales for the last five years.  This gives a wealth of experience and information to draw upon.  Ballinasloe is the FIRST Irish town to be Benchmarked in this way and has an important role in both piloting and promoting the transfer-ability of the approach.

Click here to view the report!

Katie O’ Sullivan Wins Annual BEST Competition!

The seventh annual BEST Competition has come to an end for another year, following a thrilling showcase of projects since the launch of the competition in November.

Beginning with over 80 entries from three of the local schools – Holy Rosary Mountbellew, Scoil Mhuire and Garbally College – this year’s judging panel had the difficult task of choosing the overall winner of the competition, who was recently announced at a special awards ceremony at the Shearwater Hotel.

Katie O Sullivan

BACD Chairman Seamus Duffy, 2015 BEST Award Winner, Katie O’ Sullivan and Ballinasloe Credit Union Chairman, William Duthie.

The 2015 Overall Winner of the Annual BEST Awards, sponsored by The Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre (BEC) and the Credit Union is – Katie O’ Sullivan.

The TY Holy Rosary student Katie impressed this years judges – John Power, Gerry Kelly and Pat Ward – with her modern and creative innovation: ”Snap&see” 3D Lenses.

A member of the judging panel of the BEST Competition for the past few years, John Power spoke about this years winning project, ”Snap&see”.

”Like a lot of good ideas, this is a remarkably simple idea. 3D is now very common and most of the hit movies in recent years have 3D Versions. 3D TV is at the early stage of development, but is certainly growing. Quite a high percentage of people wear glasses or contact lenses and experiences problems when looking at 3D videos or objects, as they have to try and wear their own glasses and another pair on top of them. Katie has developed a Prototype clip on 3D lens – similar to clip on sunglasses. We believe customers will love them, they can be customised and will be long lasting.”

A great idea, it can be said – congratulations to Katie O’ Sullivan on her success. She claimed the overall prize of 1,000 euro as well as the prestigious Title of Overall BEST Competition Winner 2015! It is a fantastic achievement for Katie and her school (Holy Rosary).

BEST

2015 BEST Participants.

There was huge participation this year – with over 80 entries taking part in the competition from the three representative schools aforementioned. From the initial first stage of the competition back in November, just 14 finalists made it through to the second round of the competition, which took place in early March. This was the Dragons Den stage of the competition – inspired by the hit TV show, ”Dragon’s Den”. At this point, competitors were put through the ultimate challenge – to pitch their product idea to the judging panel – an intimidating and nerve-wrecking process for the young entrepreneurs. Tensions were high for the students who had one final chance to impress the judges and showcase their projects.

According to Judge John Power ”the 14 final projects impressed all of the judges with both quality ans preparation”.

On the night of the Awards Ceremony at the Shearwater Hotel, there were a number of prize winners including:

RUNNER UP

Sally Parsons – Ard Scoil Mhuire with, ”Dream Clean Duvet”

”Most houses and many hotels use Duvet’s. Washing these and keeping them in good condition can be a very difficult and expensive task. In fact, dry-cleaning is often the only alternative. Sally suggested another alternative to this problem – what if you could take the duvet apart in four or six sections? A simple idea with a lot of commercial potential.”

It is clear that there are many young, talented entrepreneurs in this town and going by this year’s BEST Competition, the future of business in Ireland is safe!

Leo White & Tony Finn – Garbally College with their project, ”Lidacan”

John remarked, ”This is undoubtedly a good idea with considerable potential. It has market potential as it can be customised by both the alcohol & soft-drinks industry. The students made a good presentation. They would have benefited greatly if they had prepared a better prototype. Clever idea.”

Joshua Naughton & Cathal Whyte – Garbally College with, ”Hurling Helmet Visor”

”These students recognised the problem  of glare for hurlers when playing in the sun. They explored a solution to the problem and came up with a neat solution of attaching a visor to the existing helmet. The judges liked the concept and believe with improvements in design the idea has commercial potential.”

Hilary Bleahan – Ard Schoil Mhiure with, ”Cattle Trailer Harness”

”Hilary was on her way home from school and saw drivers of a cattle lorry checking their cargo to see if any cattle had fallen down or been injured. She thought of a “seat belt” for cattle. She came up with a clever design aimed mainly at haulers. It has the advantage of saving both time for drivers & reduces the risk of injury. Could be a winner with International potential especially in the USA where 50 million steers are moved annually”, stated Mr. Power enthusiastically.

Rowan Harley – Garbally College with, ”Foodnow phone App”

”Rowan sourced a number of menu’s from local food establishments and put these up on his phone App, allowing you to order by phone. He also planned a pay-pal option to pay which the food establishments will love. Rowan had a prototype of the App created on his phone for the judges. This is a good project which would be an excellent App for Ballinasloe, with potential to be then rolled out to other towns.”

Lonan Broderick, Cathal Riddel, Fintan Parsons – Garbally College with, ”The Cert”

”An Educational App based on the concept of games. The idea is a maths game where students can solve puzzles or answer questions and have a score at the end of the game. They could compete against each other etc. Some examples of this type of App already exist but not for Leaving or Junior Cert.” 

Click HERE to watch a video of the 2015 Winners!

Congratulations to all participants who took part in the BEST Competition 2015!

BEC Image

Pieta House: Darkness into Light 2015 to take place in Ballinasloe for the first time!

Preparations are well under way for the FIRST EVER Pieta House ”Darkness into Light” fundraising event that will take place here in Ballinasloe in May!

Galway East Life Support are delighted that 2015 will mark a significant milestone for the community and for GELS as the town hosts its first ever Darkness into Light 5km event for Pieta House.

DIL

The community will join 80 venues across Ireland on Saturday May 9 at 4.15 am for this symbolic event that invites people everywhere to walk together from darkness into light, in memory of those who have lost their lives to suicide.

Pieta House is currently ‘’the only organisation providing a professional, face-to-face, free service for people in the acute stages of distress’’, according to Pieta House Director of Fundraising and Advocacy, Tom McEvoy.

Darkness into Light is the most significant event on Pieta House’s fundraising calendar and is a truly poignant event, representing hope and solidarity for those in distress, while symbolising the work of Pieta; bringing people from darkness into light.

GELS founder and coordinator of the first ever Ballinasloe DIL, Arthur Carr is thrilled to have the opportunity to facilitate this great event. He remarked, ‘’it’s a great honour for the town and we hope to give everyone a great experience’’.

With 80,000 people taking part in 2014, DIL aims to be even bigger this year, with over 80 venues expected to take part worldwide; including Sydney and London.

pieta

GELS Committee member David Carr, Founder of Pieta House, Joan Freeman and DIL Treasurer Ber Coughlan at the Official Pieta House DIL Launch 2015 in Dublin.

Local woman Ber Coughlan decided to get involved with the DIL committee, having had dealings with Pieta House in the past. ‘’I got involved to give back something for the support I received’’, remarked Ber.

Also involved in the running of the event is Community Garda, Aiden Lonnergan.

‘’I have seen how suicide has effected families from all backgrounds and anything that helps to prevent suicide is to be supported’’, expressed Aiden.

Chairperson of the DIL Ballinasloe, Miriam Mullery remarked, ‘’I am delighted to be part of this energetic group, helping to save lives’’.

The official launch of Ballinasloe Darkness into Light took place on Thursday March 19 at the Shearwater Hotel.

pieta house

Ballinasloe Launch of DIL 2015, at the Shearwater Hotel in March.

GELS committee member David Carr remarked, ‘’after meeting people from Pieta House and people who have been helped by Pieta House on the night, it is an easy decision to get involved’’.

In attendance on the night of the launch was Pieta House Fundraiser and Advocate Tom McEvoy, Connacht Rugby representative Pat Lam, TV3 reporter Geraldine Lynagh and Pieta House representatives. Also in attendance on the night was Connacht Rugby player Conor Finn.

Speaking on the night of the launch, Pieta House Director of Fundraising and Advocacy, Tom McEvoy remarked, ‘’Darkness into Light is a great occasion that will certainly impact this community. We at Pieta house are grateful to GELS for hosting Darkness into Light in Ballinasloe and raising awareness about the work of Pieta House’’.

dil committee

Ballinasloe DIL 2015 Committee: Aiden Lonergan, Pat Sullivan, Miriam Mullery, Kathryn Gibbons and GELS founder Arthur Carr.

The gels committee are looking forward to the 5km event in May and encourage people to get registering now rather than leaving it to the night of the event.

Registration is €25.

OAP/Student registration is €15 and Family (2 Adults and Children) registration is €65.

Register on line at now at dil.pieta.ie. OR at the Galway East Life Support Office in Cullens Yard, Main St. Thursday evenings from 7-8p.m.

For more information, contact GELS at (085) 802 1100 or email ballinasloedil@gmail.com

The GELS committee are collecting jam jars for the event, and would like to ask anyone who has jam jars to please drop them to the GELS Office.

Here is a video of the Ballinasloe DIL Launch 2015! Enjoy!

Ballinasloe & District Athletic Club well represented by young athletes!

Juvenile Indoor Track & Field Championship

Ballinasloe & District Athletic Club were well represented recently at the Juvenile Indoor Track & Field Championship which took place in AIT.

The U12 Boys Relay Team made up Conor Harley, Adam McGreal, Shane Fitzpatrick, Charlie Naughton and Joey Tierney- a group of incredibly talented young athletes won Bronze in the competitive Juvenile Indoor Track & Field National Championship Race.

This was a marvellous achievement as the standard was unbelievably strong with only the top 3 in each Provincial Championship qualifying  for the Nationals.

The boys ran their 4 x 100m relay race in a fantastic time of 56.07 seconds.  Charlie Naughton also qualified for the final of the U12 Boys 60m and finished in 6th place with an impressive time of 8.71 seconds.  This was also a fantastic achievement as he was up against the strongest young athletes in the country.  The pace was so spectacular that the winner broke the previous Indoor record time in this event.

Athletics Juvenile Championships!

National Indoor Track & Field U12 Boys Relay Bronze Medal winners,. Left to Right Charlie Naughton, Shane Fitzpatrick, Conor Harley, Joseph Tierney and Adam McGreal.

Athletics P.R.O, Monica McKeon remarked: ”Congratulations boys and we are looking forward to plenty more outstanding performances from our Athletes in the upcoming Outdoor T&F season which begins in the end of April.  Ballinasloe & District train at the running track in Brackernagh from 6-7pm every Tuesday & Thursday.  Everyone from 7 years up are welcome to come along and try it out for a week & if they enjoy it they can then register with our Athletic club.”

A Special Journey for Special Needs “Miles for Emma”‏- Ken Campbell

‘How does one even begin to describe what happened in Ballinasloe on the weekend of the 21st/22nd of March..!!

St Michael’s Square was a wash of colour, while the sun shone and a cool gentle breeze blew across the horse and his handler on what has to have been the most beautiful day of the year. Hundreds of People gathered to take part in not just a Walk but a momentous occasion. A Special Journey for Special Needs “Miles for Emma” was the event and those taking part were about to embark on the non-stop Journey from Ballinalsoe to Dublin to Stop the continued Discrimination of Children with Special Needs, Promote Equality and awareness and Highlight the failures with regards to services for Children with Special Needs.

yo

With nearly 400 walkers stretching as far as the Suck Bridge to Creagh Church in a sea of Pink, the chosen colour of the Miles for Emma Bibs, we marched on.

The majority of the crowd were walking the 13 miles to Athlone with a group of nearly 45 continuing on and walking through the streets of Athlone bound for Moate.

 miles for

Arriving in Moate, we enjoyed a meal in Supermac’s and I have to say even after 25 miles, spirits were high and everyone was in good shape. Over 30 walkers left Moate fed and watered flanked by the Civil Defence with a determination to reach Kilbeggan before night fall, a feat which was achieved in style.

Numbers dropped again to around 20 at this stage with the main group still in great form and still not daunted by the task that faced us. After a short respite we moved off with torches a glow, our next Target was Kinnegad. We knew this would be the toughest stretch of the journey and without question was the longest leg – the night was pitch and temperatures dropped to minus one, which contradict any belief that hell is warm. Never the less the toll started to show as we lost 5 more between Tyreellspass and Kinnegad leaving the final core group of 15. For those remaining it wasn’t just about physical strength anymore but mental strength – something they showed in abundance motivating each other and motivating me.

 miles

We walked through the night with small villages coming and going – places I hadn’t seen nor visited since the opening of the motorway and apart from one sign welcoming me to Enfield which just happened to be about 3 miles out side the town everything was going well as we passed through each Village without anmiles for emma 3yone even knowing we were there apart from the odd noisy dog who decided to welcome us and cheer us on as we past their gates.

At this stage Nothing was going to stop us, we had the civil defence looking after us making sure we wanted for nothing and as we left Maynooth the plan was simple get to the Ashling… we negotiated our way through Leixlip and Lucan with the help of the Civil Defence who I can safely say went above and beyond the call of Duty and I’m not alone when I say if it wasn’t for those Guys I don’t believe we would have made it.. they are a credit to their uniforms their officers and Ballinasloe and for that I will be forever great full as will everyone who walked on both days.

We entered Dublin city where we were greeted by family, friends and supporters and that’s not to mention those who had walked on Saturday and travelled up and rejoined us for the last few miles…

For me there was the added bonus of reaching the Ashling Hotel in Dublin because my Wife Michelle and my Daughters Claire and Emma where there waiting for me… To say it was emotional would be an understatement… we celebrated our achievement but couldn’t rest on our laurels as we still had the last 2 miles up O’Connell Street to go… on arrival at the Hospital we were greeted by the Staff who were delighted to see us and appreciated everything we had done… to date the total money raised for the Metabolic unit is €13,000 and counting. People can still donate online at www.idonate.ie/milesforemma

I’d like to take this Opportunity to Thank everyone who walked with me especially those who completed the full journey… we’ve shared something very special and I believe we have made a difference even if this is only the first step on our journey.

Special recognition needs to go to the Civil Defence for their continued support and Kenny Cabs of Ballinasloe who donated 2 buses for both days and insured everyone got home safely and My Mum Helen Campbell who made sure everyone had something to eat.”

By Ken Campbell.