Offaly man part of trio taking on enormous challenge of N4 Autism Run

The launch took place recently for the very ambitious N4 Autism Run which will see three enthusiastic and committed runners take on the enormous challenge of running non stop the length of the N4 from Sligo to Dublin.

The launch took place recently for the very ambitious N4 Autism Run which will see three enthusiastic and committed runners take on the enormous challenge of running non stop the length of the N4 from Sligo to Dublin.

The intrepid trio are Offaly’s Niall Murphy, no stranger to distance running, along with Michael Devaney and Brendan Doyle. They were joined at the launch by One Direction star Niall Horan and Irish Autism Action Patron Keith Duffy.

The run is being staged to raise valuable funds to support the new Autism Centre of Excellence that the charity Irish Autism Action which has recently established in Westmeath. This unique event is kindly being supported by Abbott Ireland. Covering a total of 131 miles non-stop, it is hoped that this event on October 11 and 12 will raise great awareness and valuable funds in the support of autism throughout Ireland.

The route being covered will also be mapped out so that at designated points, individuals and teams are welcome to join in and complete their own personal challenges along the route.

The three men are not stopping and will continue running all day and night as they bid to reach their destination at Liffey Valley. The plan is to arrive in Mullingar between 11pm and midnight depending on how things are and they are delighted to be heading to the Greville Arms Hotel where they will be giving changing facilities and food kindly sponsored by the Greville Arms Hotel. There will three full marathons along the way for people to join in and the second marathon from Longford to Mullingar will end at The Greville Arms Hotel, where those runners too will be provided with food again kindly sponsored by the Hotel.

On the previous Thursday night in The Greville Arms Hotel October 4 the National Quiz will take place in up to twenty venues along or close to the N4 in a bid to win a top prize of a table for 8 at the Keith Duffy Christmas Ball at the Ritz Carlton in Powerscourt on Saturday December 1.

In addition to public participation in this event, it is also intended to sell specially designed Irish Autism Action flags and customized chocolate bars throughout the various villages and towns along the N4 that the event will be passing through on October 11 and 12.

Another way to get involved is to donate to this event via text. Simply Text the word N4RUN to 57802 (*€2.00)

To get involved in this amazing event today log onto

Offaly PRO Niall Murphy will be taking on his second running challenge this year after running the 100km for €100k challenge on April 1 in his own village in Rhode. Niall and his wife Noeleen have a son Ryan with autism and Ryan will be 12 on the 13th of October, the day after the three men cross the line at Liffey Valley in Dublin.

Niall is the current PRO for Offaly GAA and works to promote awareness of autism for the national charity Irish Autism action. Niall is also a member of the Offaly steering group for The Gathering 2013. Niall has two younger children Ciara and Jennifer who both attend Rhode National School aged 8 and 9.

This challenge for Niall and the two lads is a serious one and one that they are not taking lightly. The run will be non-stop apart from toilet, food and gear change. They will start at 7:30am in Abbot Diagnostics in Finisklin, Sligo and will be at Abbott Longford shortly after 5pm that day, moving to Mullingar for approximately 11pm and then will begin their night-time challenge continuing to run through the night when they will reach Enfield at breakfast time and on to Liffey Valley in Lucan at around lunchtime where they will finish at Abbott Liffey Valley 131 miles (211km) later.

Irish Autism Action is a young, dynamic, innovative and passionate charity formed in 2001 to provide help, hope and answers - bringing positive change into the lives of those affected by autism.

As an umbrella organisation with over 40 member groups and individual members, our members range from the 13 Special Schools for Children with Autism to local support groups – allowing us to have a presence in practically every county in Ireland.

Today the number of people in Ireland with a diagnosis of Autism would fill the Aviva Stadium. However, the number of people in Ireland affected by Autism would fill the Aviva Stadium five times over. These staggering statistics provide some idea of the scale of the issue in Ireland today. Irish Autism Action is striving forward in addressing this – through the establishment of an Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) in the heart of Ireland.

This new innovative Autism Centre of Excellence will be located on the grounds of the Franciscan Friary in Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath and will reflect the national flagship nature of the facility through an environment of learning, research and developmental opportunities for children and adults on the spectrum. The charity’s objective in setting up this unique Centre in Ireland is to offer vital resources to families through a variety of services including a diagnostic and assessment Centre, a Helpline and Information Centre, supported employment opportunities on site in addition to Outreach Programmes.


*€2.00 per text. Minimum of €1.25 excluding VAT goes to the charity. Network charges vary. You must be 18+ to participate. SP Phonovation Ltd. 0818 217 100.