28 May 2022

Offaly woman walking home for Christmas for very special reason

All the way from Dublin Airport

Offaly woman walking home for Christmas for very special reason

Offaly woman walking home for Christmas for very special reason

As most of us put the final touches to our Christmas shopping and sing along to the Chris Rea classic, 'Driving Home for Christmas,' one Offaly woman will be lacing up her walking boots. 

Maria Kelly from Clara is preparing to fly to Dublin Airport from Boston this week, where she will then embark on the grueling journey to Clara on foot. 

She is currently on a J1 visa in Boston, and wanted "to do something to make a difference" for a charity close to her heart, Jigsaw Ireland, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health.

Jigsaw, which has a branch of its services in Offaly, aims to change how Ireland thinks about and responds to young people’s mental health, through research, engagement and services.

"We all need to make a concerted effort to be more understanding, kinder, supportive and more loving to each other," Maria said.

"So many people suffer in silence and often in fear. I believe that there is not too many of us that go through life without some occasion of mental illness," she added.

Maria's Everydayhero fundraising page has already raised over €3,300 for Jigsaw Ireland, with donations flowing in from around the world. She's due to begin her walk on Wednesday, December 20.

You can donate to Maria's long walk home to Offaly this Christmas by clicking here and giving what you can.

"Please let's pull together and sponsor a donation to this charity. Every penny is greatly appreciated," Maria concluded.

If you have a story for us, sports news, an event happening in your area, or if you want to submit pictures or videos, contact the Offaly Express team via email to, or through our Facebook.

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