Peaking for a tough challenge - and all for a good cause

The four Donegal men who are in training for a gruelling charity mountain climb are hopeful they can break the record for a challenge they’ll undertake next month.

The four Donegal men who are in training for a gruelling charity mountain climb are hopeful they can break the record for a challenge they’ll undertake next month.

Seamus Cannon from Creeslough, Martin Rochford from Dunfanaghy, and Michael and Paddy McGeady from Dunlewey, will tackle the country’s 26 highest peaks across the 32 counties from June 21st to June 24th. The record for the challenge of 98 hours and 45 minutes was set by Ian McKeever in 2008.

Looking ahead to the climb, Seamus Cannon is hopeful that the four will better the three year old record.

“It’s going to be a big ask, but we’re going to give it a go,” he said.

Over the course of the four days, the four men will climb nearly 10,000 metres - a distance equivalent to four marathons while travelling the width and breadth of the country. The challenge will see them climbing the highest peak in each county in Ireland. The crew, all over 50, will be driven and looked after by Kevin Kiely and Manus Mooney. They will use a mini-bus to travel between peaks and camp at the base of the mountain at night. If all goes to plan they hope to start the challenge at Mweelrea Mountain in Co. Mayo around 5.30am on Monday, June 21st and continue on from there, finishing on Errigal some time on Thursday, June 24th. Some of men are on the hills training at 5.30am. The training session sometimes consists of climbing the seven peaks between Muckish and Errigal, approximately 6,000 feet of climbing.

While getting the task completed safely is paramount, Seamus Cannon explained that all money raised through their efforts will go to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

“The hospital does immense work in caring for and treating sick children,” Seamus commented.

“Any donations, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated. Also any businesses who would be willing to sponsor them could contact any of the six volunteers. Donations can be made by following links on facebook page, Ireland’s peaks challenge,” Seamus added. An account at AIB in Letterkenny has been opened for people who want to make a donation. The code is 93-73-47.