Seanie Ryan meets SpeedoMick at the Raheen roundabout upon his arrival in Limerick
A LIVERPOOL man who beat drug and alcohol dependence has passed through Limerick on a 2,200-mile tour to raise awareness for charities hit by Covid-19.
Michael Cullen, known colloquially as SpeedoMick is taking part in a five-month ‘giving back tour’ through Britain and Ireland in a bid to hand out donations to local charities which have been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
SpeedoMick was an easy man to spot on the streets of Limerick, dressed in his dark blue Everton swimming trunks, swimming cap and walking boots.
While he’s raising money on this trek, the primary motive for his walk this time is to identify charities, and offer donations from the proceeds raised from previous walks, notably a 1,000-mile trek from the two extreme points of Britain – Land’s End to John O’Groats.
It was on this trip he raised £500,000, with half of this dedicated to charities along this route, where he is covering around 20 miles a day.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader as he crossed over the border into Cork, SpeedoMick said: “The walk began at the end of May in Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, before crossing into Ireland. Later on, he will jump on the ferry to Wales before finishing in England.
“I’m doing the five capitals – Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Cardiff and London,” he explained.
The Irish leg of his tour is split into nine journeys – the sixth covered Galway to Limerick, stopping at Kinvarra and Cratloe, and in the city centre, where he stayed at the invitation of the Savoy Hotel.
Hello everyone,— Speedomick (@speedomick) July 28, 2021
The Savoy Hotel smashed the welcome out of the park - thank you to you & your staff.
I’m back to myself because I’m not me without me S(nickers) Mallow I’m coming at ye!
The Giving Back Tour: https://t.co/v85En2ni6Q #bethekindness pic.twitter.com/AtrA8fQpNb
Today, he covered Croom, Charleville, Mallow and Cork.
Iv passed #croom now on the way to #Charleville iv been joined by 2 stompers who go by the names Maggie and Becky. Great Tshirt. Thank you both for lightning my load by giving me some company today. #beautifulireland #speedmicks2000milestomp @JayneMcCubbinTV @davemorrissey64 pic.twitter.com/z2J81AqpOr— Speedomick (@speedomick) July 27, 2021
“We decided what would the money I’d raised be best used for? We came to the conclusion that it would be best if we donated the money to registered charities who supported homelessness, disadvantaged young people and mental health. All of which have suffered. I’ve suffered myself in the past from all three, and not a long time ago,” he said.
“What we want to do on the walk – and it’s been difficult – is to co-ordinate so we can meet up with charities, and some of the service users, and those who volunteer or work with the charities so we can raise awareness for them as well,” Mick added.
Asked his impressions of Limerick, he said: “It was great to be here. The people I met here have been really supportive and welcoming. Being in the Savoy Hotel, which is lovely, but I’ve been homeless before. So it felt a bit surreal. I was so grateful to them.”
“They gave me a lovely room, they put me on the seventh floor. I could see the Shannon, I’d not seen it before, but I’ve heard the songs sung about it,” Mick added.
Yesterday, he got a message of support from Everton and Ireland captain Seamus Coleman, something which he said meant a huge amount to him.
And while most of us have bemoaned the end of the heat wave, for Mick it was a blessing.
“I was really glad when it started raining. I was sweltering. I had to take a couple of days off when I was in Galway, because it was blinding hot. I was seriously worried about my skin,” he explained.
@speedomick from Liverpool is in Clare today as part if his 2,000 mile hike for charity. He’s pretty hard to miss! Please donate if you can @ClareChampion @ClareEcho @ClareFM @patsyflynn @gordondeeg @HalloranCathy @ClareTourism @ClareCoCo @Everton @fiannafailparty pic.twitter.com/waVR0QTK0Q— Cathal Crowe T.D. (@CathalCroweTD) July 26, 2021
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