The recent annual Croagh Patrick climb in aid of Galway Hospice was a huge success, setting a new record with more than 1,000 climbers taking part, an increase of 800 on the previous year.
The success came about after 25 local businesses confirmed they would sponsor the event.
These were Basilico Restaurant Oranmore, Bradley Motors, Bus Eireann, Cases Wine Warehouse, CCP Recruitment, Celtic Anglian Water, Dell Limerick, DIY Pursuits, Kinvara, EmployAbility Galway, Flannery's Hotel, Forde Seemless Gutters, Liam Francis Painting and Decorating, Londis, Kilcolgan, Mr Windscreen, National Schoolwear Centre, Mech & Biomed Eng, NUIG, Medtronic, Mr Windscreen, Liosban, National Schoolwear Centre, P + O Maritime Galway, Paddy Burkes, Clarinbridge, Patsy Devlin Coach Hire, Paul Feeney Engineering, Portiuncula Hospital, Rainbows Montessori Ardrahan.
Throughout Spring, support came in from all sides — A group of nurses lead by Margaret Connaughton and Teresa Hughes from Portiuncula spearheaded the charge from Ballinasloe.
There was a huge amount of interest from Susan Forde in Northampton, Mark Mills in Moylough and Geraldine Mullen in Tuam. Michael Uniacke demonstrated true grit and travelled throughout Gort and surrounding areas and completed the most sponsorship cards by any individual.
Bryan Noone from Ballybane said in order to celebrate 2013 as the fifth year for the event he would climb Croagh Patrick five times in one day. As it turns out Bryan climbed Croagh Patrick six times in one day - he did it one more time for good luck!
Families, friends, colleagues from work, groups and organisations gathered at the foot of the mountain and Keith Finnegan did the count down that started the 2013 climb. With that, the blue sky opened up, the weather was spectacular and showed Croagh Patrick and surrounding area to be one of the most beautiful sights on the planet. There was great banter as the 1000 climbers set off up the well worn path.
Everyone had their own personal reason to undertake the climb and all age groups took part. The youngest climber was James Murphy aged seven who reached the summit for the second year in a row and who makes it look easier every year.
Although many people were happy to sit back and picnic along the path there was a huge sense of euphoria as people reached the summit. This was to be replaced by the heart stopping views of Clew Bay. It is breath taking to sit on a rock and gaze into the distance at the wonder of nature at its finest. Truly a day to remember.
Organisers are keen to collect the funds raised. You can do this by sending a cheque to Galway Hospice, Renmore Galway. For credit/debit card donations call Galway Hospice directly on 091 770868.
In both cases please note your donation is part of Croagh Patrick climb. If either of these methods of payment do not suit, please contact them at [email protected] The total amount raised will be published as soon as all the money is collected. Thanks to everyone who contribnuted, too part or helped with the event.