Grand Canal Way Challenge comes to Offaly

homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust is holding its inaugural Irish long distance challenge event – The Long Walk Home – Grand Canal Way this bank holiday weekend (May 4 – May 7).

homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust is holding its inaugural Irish long distance challenge event – The Long Walk Home – Grand Canal Way this bank holiday weekend (May 4 – May 7).

20 volunteers will walk across Ireland from Shannon Harbour to Dublin. Starting from Shannon Harbour the walk will take 4 days, covering approximately 32kms each day.

This Friday the walkers will be transported by coach from Dublin to Shannon Harbour where they set off on their epic journey along the banks of the Grand Canal. The first night will be spent in Tullamore staying in the Bridge House Hotel Fr Tom Cox, of Ferbane parish is hoping to bring a group of walkers to join the Trust on this leg also. The walkers plan to be coming into Tullamore about 6pm – walking to the Bridge House Hotel.

This first day is the longest, about 34kms.

On Saturday morning they will set off about 9am from the hotel on foot of the second leg – Tullamore to Edenderry. A warm reception for them coming into Tullamore would be very welcomed and give them a great boost for the rest of their journey.

The walkers will be welcomed to Tullamore by Tommy McKeague of Tullamore Town Council, and John Burke of Tullamore Housing association.

People are invited to walk down the canal to meet them and welcome them to Tullamore. There will be a reception for all in the Bridge Centre when they arrive into town at about 5.30/6pm.

People are also welcome to walk with the group as they depart on Saturday morning at 9am to Edenderry. The third day covers Edenderry – Sallins. On the final day the group set off from Sallins for the last leg into Dublin.

The group’s final destination is Guinness’s whose historic connection with the Grand Canal makes it the perfect venue to celebrate their achievements.

Neil Delamere, a native of Edenderry says “What better way to spend your May Bank holiday? It has something for everyone - taking in the varied scenery, wildlife and historic sites while enjoying the peace and quiet of the countryside. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of your daily lives – this walk will soothe your soul, refresh your energies and put a spring back in your step. What better way to get fit, make new friends and explore unseen Leinster, all while raising much needed funds for Peter McVerry Trust’s work with young homeless people.”