Dublin 2 Galway Challenge 2023

Army personnel to march over 200 km from Dublin to Galway for Irish charities.

Irish Defence Forces members to walk 129 miles across Ireland over four days to raise vital funds for ONE and the Irish Cancer Society.

Seven serving Irish Defence Forces’ personnel are today 21st August 2023, beginning their arduous march from Dublin to Galway, to raise much-needed funds for two renowned Irish charities.

Taking place across four days, the 216 km route aims to raise awareness and essential funds for veterans’ charity ONE and the Irish Cancer Society. Donations can be made online, with members of the public encouraged to donate as participants make their way along the route, with all monies raised divided evenly between the charities. The march commenced at 6 am this morning from the back gate of McKee Barracks to Ashtown Gate on the Royal Canal in Dublin, with the team expected to arrive at Renmore Barracks in Galway on Thursday afternoon.

ONE (Óglaigh Náisiúnta Na hÉireann, or the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel) is an Irish veterans’ charity that was established to support ex-service personnel. The organisation offers housing, professional counselling, and support services to homeless and struggling veterans. The Irish Cancer Society aims to transform the experiences and outcomes of people affected by cancer through advocacy, support services and research.

Primarily stationed in the greater Dublin region, the energetic team is made up of Coy Sgt Martin Moules, CQMS David Bates, CQMS Darren McCarthy, Sgt Jonathan Santamaria, CQMS Peter Scully, Cpl Fran Fitzhenry, and Cpl Peter McCardle. They will be supported along the way by a number of their Defence Forces colleagues who are set to turn out to cheer on their colleagues.

Over the four days, the group will follow a set route, travelling through Blanchardstown, Leixlip, Maynooth, Kilcock, Enfield, Mullingar, Mote, Athlone, and over the hills of Athenry, before concluding the challenge in Galway. Members and volunteers from the veterans’ charity will greet the participants en route at Dublin, Mullingar, Athlone, and Galway.

ONE was founded in March 1951 with the aim of supporting former members of the Defence Forces as they make the difficult transition into civilian life. The charity organises year-round events to raise money and awareness around issues involving Irish Veterans and currently has 38 branches, 15 veteran centres, and four residential homes across the country. To date, the charity has helped more than 1,000 veterans out of homelessness and provides 18,615 bed nights a year, between its homes in Athlone, Cobh, Dublin, and Letterkenny.

Speaking ahead of the event, Defence Forces Veteran and CEO of ONE, Cormac Kirwan, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as one of this year’s charities. All in ONE have a huge admiration and respect for the group to undertake such a challenge. We wish each and every one of them the greatest success and thank them for all their efforts. Without the continued support of all of our donors, we would not be able to fund our vital services for struggling veterans in need.”

Donate here: https://oneconnect.enthuse.com/pf/dublin-to-galway-2023

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