Limerickman’s idea to take a penalty for autism and nominate

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan

Tadhg Hayes, Doon, Paul Scholes and Tommy Walsh launch the take a penalty for autism initiative
A COUNTY Limerick man has come up with an idea in the same spirit as the ice bucket challenge phenomenon.

A COUNTY Limerick man has come up with an idea in the same spirit as the ice bucket challenge phenomenon.

The whole furore surrounding Cork hurling goalkeeper Anthony Nash’s penalty style planted a seed in Tadhg Hayes’s mind.

The Doon man thought up the idea of taking a penalty, posting it on social media and nominating friends to do it. The project engineer works with Wyeth Nutritionals in Askeaton and as their current chosen charity is Irish Autism Action he approached them.

“They liked the idea and decided to run with it. I am hoping the simplicity of it works. It can be done absolutely anywhere - in the back garden with two jumpers as goalposts and hopefully it will be done in Croke Park some day in front of 80,000,” said Tadhg.

Penalties aren’t just limited to one sport.

“It can be soccer, hurling, rugby - kick the ball over the bar. Some have even take tennis penalties. The important thing is when you take one, nominate one or two more and if you are nominated try to keep the ball rolling by taking a penalty and nominating,” he said.

Then post the video on social media with the tag #penaltyforautism and lay down the challenge to friends or rivals. Participants are then asked to text the word PENALTY to 50300 to donate €2 to Irish Autism Action. The initiative was officially launched in Dublin by Tadhg, Tommy Walsh and Paul Scholes, whose son has autism.

“It was very nice to meet Paul Scholes and, particularly, Tommy Walsh - coming from a hurling background it was great to meet him. Of all the players he is one I would have admired for years,” said Tadhg, a former Limerick hurler.

The long-serving Doon GAA club man, who lifted the All-Ireland Junior B championship with his teammates last autumn, also held a local launch.

“I dropped down one evening when the seniors and U12s were training. They all supported it and started nominating others. The club have been brilliant and I want to thank them for all their support,” Tadhg.

Ken Whelan, of Irish Autism Action, said: “We’re urging the public to get behind this fun initiative which will raise much needed funds for our work.”