St Stephen's Day Limerick hill walk to burn off calories

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan

Seamus Ryan promises a fun stroll on his charity walk

Seamus Ryan promises a fun stroll on his charity walk

SIX YEARS ago Limerick man Seamus Ryan set off on a quest to raise €100,000 for Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and the Cappamore man is at the €35,000 mark. Every St Stephen’s Day he holds a forestry walk to raise funds.

“There is still a long way to go but I will get there,” said Seamus.

“There is no better way to work off the Christmas dinner and mince pies than joining us on the foothills of the Slieve Felim mountains on December 26,” he continues. Seamus said a number of Limerick children have to travel to Temple Street for specialist care.

It is a walk the Ryans have been doing since they were teenagers. In 2011, Seamus came up with the idea to organise it for charity.

“We see a lot of the same faces year after year, I guess now it has become a tradition and people look forward to the catch up, especially those who are just home for Christmas. We also love to welcome new people every year to join us,” said Seamus.

All walkers will start together from the forestry entrance at the end of the Kyle Road which is 5 kms north of Cappamore village. They are asked to congregate at 11.30am for a briefing before they start at noon.

“There will be three different walks to choose from. The first is 4 kms (around 40 mins), 7.5 kms (1 hour 30 minutes) and 10 kms (two hours). The longer walk meanders through the forestry until reaching the famed Grageen bog, which supplied turf to the Munster region when coal could not be imported into Ireland during World War II.

“We are hoping for a clear day again this year so walkers will get to take in the stunning views of east Limerick and the Galtee mountains,” said Seamus.

When the walkers return to base there will be well deserved hot and cold refreshments.

“There is no set charge but all donations are accepted on the day,” said Seamus, who can be contacted on  087 2673322 for more information.

He says car parking is limited so “please carpool where possible”.

“Dress accordingly for whatever weather we have on the day and bring a bottle of drinking water as the first 5 kms of the 10 km walk is uphill!!” said Seamus.  

The Christmas Day calories will be all worked off!