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Annual challenge raises almost €35k for charities

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DONATING: This year's 54321 Challenge raised funding of almost €35,000 for three charities. Pictured were: Catherine Foley, Mark Murphy, Maura O’Sullivan, Marian Kelly, Sean Scally and Caroline Lynch.

By Michelle Crean

Almost €35,000 was handed over to multiple Kerry charities at the weekend as organisers of this year's 54321 Challenge handed over the funds.

This year’s selected charities included Skellig Stars which helps children and adult athletes with special needs, Kerry Hospice Foundation, and Enable Ireland Kerry.

Participants who took part in the gruelling four day challenge which included three cycles and two mountain climbs met the charities at Ross Castle where they handed over the money.

Now in its eight year, the 54321 Challenge was very different this year as it was scaled back to just a few participants due to the COVID restrictions.

However, they still managed to raise a colossal amount - a whopping €34,768.97 - thanks to the help of the generous public. This brings the total raised to date to €241,352.00 supporting a number of very deserving Kerry charities over the years.

A major contributor to this year’s fundraising efforts was a number of Spinathon Days where this year's participants, volunteers from the various causes, family and friends took to the streets in different locations around the county on spinning bikes. These events took place in Killarney, Cahersiveen, Killorglin, Listowel, Dingle, and Tralee.

RESTRICTING NUMBERS

The Challenge had grown in numbers over the years, and this year was to be no different with a large number of participants ready to undertake the challenge, one of the organisers TJ O'Connor explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

"Due to the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic and the corresponding lockdown, and health and safety recommendations from the HSA around large groups of people, the 54321 Challenge committee made the tough decision that all 50 participants could not complete this year's Challenge.

The top priority was to ensure the safety of its participants, and in the current climate this extended to their families, neighbours, friends etc. So instead the decision was made that the Challenge would revert to the original seven participants undertaking the four-day challenge, which took place from Thursday, August 20 to Sunday 23 inclusive."

Not only did the volunteers cycle the Ring of Kerry, they also climbed Carrauntuohil, cycled from Killarney to the foot of Mount Brandon and then climbed it! And although exhausted, the last leg of their journey was a cycle from Dingle to Killarney.

"Thanks to everyone who made these Spinathons possible, to all the volunteers, and thanks to all the members of the public who gave their support and generous donations, and thanks to An Garda Síochána and especially James Foley for his help," he said.

“If this year has taught us anything, it is to be thankful for what we have, our health is our wealth, and the power of people working together can get us through some of the most difficult situations. We are so glad that we went ahead with the 54321 Challenge 2020 and that the monies raised will provide some comfort to those availing of the services offered by this year causes.”

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Weird and wonderful insurance policies

As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites. Here are some of the […]

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As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note.

Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites.

Here are some of the more interesting and obscure insurance policies put in place over the years.
· David Beckham insured his legs with Lloyds for £100m in 2006

· Dolly Parton has insured her 40dd breasts for £3.8m

· Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards hands are insured for $1.6m

· Michael Flatleys legs were insured for $47 Million. The policy was only in effect when he was touring and forbade him from dancing except on stage.

· James Dean took out a life policy for $100,000 just a week before his tragic death at the age of 25

· The actor Richard Burton purchased a 69.42 carat diamond from Cartier for $1.1 Million in 1969 as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. It was the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. Once Lloyds had insured the diamond they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year and even then be protected by security guards. The diamond was sold in 1978 for an estimated $5 Million which would equate to roughly $19 Million today.

· According to novelist and inventor Arthur C Clarke, director Stanley Kubrick wanted to take out insurance with Lloyds to protect himself against losses in the event that extra-terrestrial intelligence was discovered before his movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was released. Lloyds refused to quote for this one.

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Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way

Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry. In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains […]

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Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry.

The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry.

In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains an insight into the culture, challenges and benefits of living by the Atlantic and to find out if seawater still flows through the veins of its coastal communities.

On her travels, Áine will meet with the people of the coast, both young and old. She will spend time in the company of people who live and work by the sea, learning more about the attraction of these areas, and this life, through their eyes, stories and experiences. She will meet those communities and people who have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea, through new businesses, traditional livelihoods, recreational activities, ecology, birdwatching, eco-tours, swimming, boats (of all kinds) and more.

Áine began her journey at home in Gaoth Dobhair and heads to the wilds of Árainn Mhóir on the second leg of journey.
The third show platforms south Donegal while in week 4, Áine heads to the beautiful Achill Island.

Half way through her journey from Donegal to Kerry, Áine is in Carna in Conamara while in the the sixth programme, Áine continues her journey on the Galway coast, this time in Cois Fharraige

Áine visits Inis Oírr in the seventh programme, the smallest of the three Oileán Árainn, to explore how life has changed for islanders in recent generations through fishing, farming, tourism and sport.

In programme eight, Áine continues her journey, heading for the West Kerry coastline this time around, rowing with a local musician, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, a boatbuilder Eddie Hutch and even All-Ireland champions in Cumann Rámhaíochta an Daingin. She investigates the attraction of sea swimming for local women with local group ‘Snámh for the Soul’ goes foraging and paddleboarding with a woman who lives and breathes the sea and all it has to offer, Susan Feirtéar.

In the penultimate programme, Áine continues on her journey around the Corca Dhuibhne coast, exploring the history of trade in An Daingean with Brenda Uí Shúilleabháin and how the coast inspires artists with the talented Tomáisín Ó Cíobháin. She takes a class with local yoga instructor, Ails Ní Chonchúir and heads out to sea with local guide, Eoghan Ó Slatara, to learn about the islands on the west Kerry coast and she tastes some local seafood but she has to cook it first at the Dingle Cookery School.

Áine ends her journey in Uíbh Ráthach, in South Kerry. She gains a different perspective on the sea while snorkling with Gráinne Ní Ailín from Sea Synergy and surfing with Cian O’Connor, explores the long history of this coastal community from the time of the Milesians with poet and historian, Paddy Bushe, and learns about the Seine boat with a local TikToker, Séaghan Ó Suilleabháin, better known as The Kerry Cowboy, and is there a better way to finish her journey than a first visit to the majestic Sceilg islands?

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