Grand Canal Challenge for Peter McVerry Trust sets off from Offaly

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

Walkers setting off from Griffith Bridge, Shannon Harbour, County Offaly on Friday morning as part of The Long Walk Home - Grand Canal Challenge, 3rd � 6th May in Aid of the Peter McVerry Trust. Picture: Ger Rogers/HR Photo.
Participants on the Long Walk Home - Grand Canal Challenge, and event organised by Peter McVerry Trust, set off from Shannon Harbour on Friday morning to raise funds for the homeless.

Participants on the Long Walk Home - Grand Canal Challenge, and event organised by Peter McVerry Trust, set off from Shannon Harbour on Friday morning to raise funds for the homeless.

The event, which is in its second year, raises funds for Peter McVerry Trust’s work with homeless youths from the ages of 12 upwards.

The event followed the path of the Grand Canal between Shannon Harbour in Offaly to Grand Canal Basin in Dublin. This year a group of 20 walkers participated and they took four days to complete their journey walking around 20km per day. Despite the challenging nature of the event participants enjoyed the fantastic scenery and overnight stays in some of the best hotels along the route including the Bridge House Hotel in Tullamore, the Johnstown House Hotel in Enfield and Barberstown Castle in Straffan.

When participants reached the outskirts of Dublin they were joined by friends and family on the final stretch of the journey where they stepped aboard the replica Guinness barge, the MV Cadhla, and cruised along the final section of the Grand Canal from Portobello to Grand Canal Basin.

Pat Doyle CEO of Peter McVerry Trust who was one of those walking the challenge said “This event is extremely important for Peter McVerry Trust as it raises vital funds for our work at a time when we are working with large numbers of homeless youths. We are very fortunate that many people along the way have supported our cause, including community organisations and local business. It is also a fantastic event for participants as they get to see some wonderful scenery and build up a great camaraderie over the 4 days and we’d like to thank everybody that has supported this event.”

Peter McVerry Trust was founded by the Jesuit priest and social justice campaigner Fr Peter McVerry in 1983 and marks its 30th Anniversary in 2013. The charity organises a range of events and activities throughout the year. To find out more about upcoming challenge events you can find information on their website at www.pmvtrust.ie or by calling 01 823 0776.

Peter McVerry Trust is committed to reducing homelessness and the harm caused by drug misuse and social disadvantage. Peter McVerry Trust provides low-threshold entry services, primarily to younger persons with complex needs, and offers pathways out of homelessness based on the principle of the Housing First model and within a framework that is based on equal opportunities, dignity and respect.