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Back to basics for 54321 Challenge this year

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CHALLENGE: The 54321 Challenge will this year revert back to its original format with just five participants due to current restrictions: Pictured were: Carole Moran, Siobhan O’Sullivan, Catherine Foley, Maura Sullivan, Mark Murphy, Mairead Dunphy, TJ O’Connor, Noreen Sheahan, Sean Sully, Martin McCarthy, Caroline Lynch and Tony Dunne. Photo: Grigoriy Geniyevskiy

By Michelle Crean

Hit with the current restrictions, the annual popular 54321 Challenge will this year revert back to its original format with just five participants.

 

What began eight years ago as a challenge for the group with a team of five over four days, completing three cycles, and climbing two mountains for one cause, grew over the years to approximately 50 participants, with fund raised for local charities.

However, according to organisers this year it's "back to simplicity in complicated times".

"The Challenge has 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," TJ O'Connor said.

"However, 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 54321 Challenge's top priority is to ensure the safety of its participants and in the current climate; this extends to their families, neighbours, friends etc. Instead the decision has been made that the Challenge will revert to the original five participants undertaking the four day challenge, and this will take place from Thursday, August 20 to Sunday 23 inclusive."

The Challenge this year includes: Day 1 (Thursday 20) - Cycle the Ring of Kerry, Day 2 (Friday 21) - Climb Carrantuohill, Day 3 (Saturday 22) - Cycle from Killarney to the foot of Mount Brandon and then climb Mt Brandon and Day 4 (Sunday 23) - Cycle from Dingle to Killarney.

"The committee are currently looking at ways other people can participate in an online version of the Challenge while representing and raising funds for their chosen charity, and they will be announcing details in the coming weeks via their website and social media."

The Challenge has raised almost €207,000 to date supporting a number of very deserving Kerry Charities, This year’s selected charities are Skellig Stars, a group of children and adult athletes with special needs; Kerry Hospice Foundation and Enable Ireland Kerry. Each charity will have a champion undertaking the challenge on their behalf.

"We would be very grateful for any contribution to these worthwhile causes and supporting the participants of this year’s Challenge, he said.

​​​​​​​"You can donate via our website www.54321challenge.org or see the individual charities Facebook pages for online donation information or donate by Direct Debit to Bank of Ireland, Killarney. Sort code 90-57-58 Account No. 74356384 (BIC BOFIIE2D and IBAN IE88BOFI90575874356384), or if you know any of the participants you can contact them directly with a donation. With your support and donations, we can support all these deserving causes."

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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