Today we are just 35-40 kilometers from completing this journey. It Moneygall
started over 6 months ago and took us through 18 countries.
How naive we were
Its difficult to comprehend. We decide to head to mass in Nenagh. It is being said by an ex teacher of all of ours, Fr Pat Molone. We walk in (to some bizarre looks). Fr Pat notices us during his sermon and announces our arrival and our adventures to a round of applause by his clergy. It is fun. We are invited for refreshments after mass with Fr Pat, where then we will cycle out to Killaloe with a team of fellow cylists made up of family, friends and cycling enthusiasts who heard about what we were at.
Laura and Eilish – The press!
Little did we know was that we would be given a full Garda Escort from Nenagh onwards. It was such a buzz…who wouldn’t like it!!!!….
Photos were being taken as we cycled with all our family and mates side by side in ridiculously poor weather. The roads were so familiar that our cycling seems like such an unconscious action to us, pedaling up close to people, avoiding such nuances in the road with ease, having a drink, adjusting in the saddle; things that would make us wobble and very conscious of just a couple of months ago. We are hardened and experienced cyclists now.
As we arrived over the bridge of Killaloe in our native Co Clare, we could see our family, girlfriends and friends lining up waving with tear-filled eyes….It was pretty emotional for us hardened cyclists!! The Killaloe Search and Rescue team also gave us a great homecoming too!!….Crazy crazy stuff….Like a Carnival in Rio…It is fantastic to be home…We earn some fine pints of Guinness and are awarded a beautiful wood carved piece by The Anchor Inn. The Share a Dream Foundation also say some very kind words and highlight the ongoing work of the Charity……The final thing we do is cycle in the gates of our on homes, before partying the night away back in Killaloe…..Yahooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! Check out Gordon Thompsons pictures of the homecoming – They are pretty class!!!
Mike and Brian and their cousin David cycling up the hill to home
Its all over…..What can we say?…..We would like to thank all our families, girlfriends and friends for all their patience and support over the last 6 months. It was just terrific and wont be forgotten. We would like pay tribute to the Share a Dream Foundation and committee for what can only be described as heroic efforts in raising such funds for a very noble childrens charity. For all the donators on www.thaireland.ie, who throughout the cycle kept raising the awareness of the charity….Thanks so so much. For all the people who sent us such nice texts, mails, wrote news articles and memos, this was of such a lift to us you wouldn’t believe!!!! For all those who did anything else….cheers guys!! From all of us, Thanks so much. Mike Brian and Paul. (Thaireland 08/09) P.S; Get on those bikes of yours!!! See you around!!!
We are on todays newspaper…..Check it out on the Irish Independent online!!
Waking up outside Naas to a series of Thunder Storms was not an ideal start to the morning…but hey, we should be used of such suprises at this stage of the trip. Setting down our tents for the penultimate time, we set off in the teeming rain. The rain feels different…Its driving and sweet on the face…It feels Irish and its fantastic….
We are today contacted by a mystery person. He identifies himself as Brendan Lynch, a Tipperary man, an author with a fire-filled passion for crazy stories ranging. He tells us that he has a huge enthusiasm for cycling, himself being a cyclist and telling us that he came across our story when researching. We plan to meet in a place named Borris on Ossary. We cycle, fund-raise, cyle some more, stop and then we finally meet this mystery man. We chat with Brendan and his wife Margie for a good time. Brendan then presents us with a signed copy of his latest book “Yesterday we were in America.
The story of Alcock and Brown “the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic from St John’s, Newfoundland to Connemara, Ireland on June 15-16, 1919″
It is a very nice presentation which will be such a fine read during our time re-couperating in the coming days. Thanks again Brendan. For anyone who is looking for this book or info about Brendan. Visit his website at:
We reach Roscrea where we are put up in The Rackett Hall Hotel for the night all compliments to the hotel management. Thanks a million guys. We chill for the night with some of the Share a Dream cavalcade and have a good couple of well deserved pints of Guinness…..Absolute bliss and such and enjoyable evening listening to all the good works carried out behind the scenes at Share a Dream…..What a day!!!
First leg on the ferry platform in Dublin and Paul slips and lands right back on his elbow…Ouch!!! “I thought that was it for me” and “well thats just perfect!!” were quotes that quickly followed. We finally land ourselves on terra ferma was the first time in 6 months. The weather is so bad.
We will cycle up to Liz’s house (Paul’s girlfriend) in Drumcondra to unwind and to do some interviews and media stuff.
The Irish Independent call over to take some pictures and interview us. We will also got on The Ray Darcy and George Hook’s “The right hook” at some later stage too. Its great to be in Ireland again and with the weather improving, we will attempt to get on the bikes again and head down to Naas, raising awareness all the way for our charity; the Share a Dream Foundation. But first we have to hit the pub for the first Irish Pint on G!. We meet Brian’s college mate Frank and his girlfriend Mia.
On our way down, lots of people wave at us, sound their car horns…Its going to be an enjoyable couple of days!!!….Brian has to stop off in a pub in Naas to take a call from George Hook on his show….Its all a bit too surreal!!! – We meet up at a couple of locations on the way down with Tina from Share and Dream (accompanied by all her devoted fundraisers)….We will try to collect as much as possible with Tina in the coming days in the larger towns on the way….We will camp tonight outside Naas village. We aim to camp the last couple of nights before the coming….Beds would also be so so welcome!!!!
No need for sign posts!
Just before meeting the share a dream folks
Have to finish a day on the saddle with a pint!