Former OT Participant is hopeful his “Bay to Bay Walk” has raised 20k for charity

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09/08/2081 Repro free: On his way into lahinch Co Clare Former RTE Operation Transformation Finalist Ronan Scully is walking from Bay to Bay 300km from Dingle to Galway for charity. Ronan Scully will be arriving (all going well) into Galway on Sunday afternoon where he is calling on everyone to join him doing a 5 km walk from the Claddagh to Blackrock around 3.30. Some of his lifelong friends joined him along the way. Ronan Scully is raising much needed funds for some worthy causes especially Gorta Self Help Africa, The Galway Rape Crisis Centre and a charity close to his heart, RosabelÕs Rooms in partnership with the Irish Hospice Foundation who are all helping many families and children in need in Africa and Ireland with a week-long ÔBaytoBay WalkÕ from Dingle Bay in County Kerry up along the west coast to his home in Galway a mere 300kmÕs. Photo:Andrew Downes, Xposure

Blistered but not unbowed, Ronan Scully is hoping to net 20k from his charity “Irish Camino” walk from Dingle Bay to Galway Bay.

He’s run across the polar ice-cap at the North Pole, competed in Africa’s biggest road race, walked across Ireland, he has done the Camino de Santiago a few times and done much more besides for charity, but Honorary Galway-man Ronan Scully admits that he finally met his match when he recently attempted to walk from Dingle Bay to Galway Bay via Clare and the Burren just over 300km’s on foot.

The one-time ‘Operation Transformation’ leader completed his eight-day ‘Bay to Bay Charity Walk’ from Dingle Bay to Galway Bay blistered but unbowed, as he succeeded in hopefully raising €20,000 or more for his chosen charities in Galway, Ireland and Africa.

Joined along the way by friends, family and supporters, especially Fergus McGinn and many friends from Galway, Clare and Offaly, Ronan used the 300km charity challenge as a way to make his recent 51st birthday an event to remember.

“I was a broken man; exhausted!” he confessed, while at the same time adding that he was hugely heartened by the good will and support that he had encountered along the way.

The former RTE TV contestant got the idea for his 51st birthday challenge when walking a section of the Camino de Santiago in Spain a few years ago for the charity for whom he works, Gorta-Self Help Africa:

“I wanted to do something special to both celebrate my birthday, and 26 years working in developing countries. I decided to do another Irish Camino.”

Having completed several charity walks in the past, including a marathon in the North Pole thanks to Global Adventures Running, Ronan Scully confessed this year’s 300km’s “Bay to Bay Walk” was by far his hardest challenge.

“It was different from the other walks in the sense that there was further to go,” he explained.

“The most difficult moment was the seventh day. It rained a lot and we got cold. My legs and feet got really sore at that point.”

“The encouragement I received from friends, family and colleagues and the staff and supporters of the charities who completed sections of the walk with me, is what kept me going,” he admits.

“I am grateful for the generosity and kindness of the people we met, and those who gave us food and water. Especially I would like to thank Bishop Fintan Monahan of the Killaloe Diocese and originally from Galway who gave us accommodation for 2 nights in his house in Ennis and said mass for us on 3 occasions over the week as some of my best memories of the experience.”

Ronan, who was a participant on one of the very first series of RTE’s popular ‘Operation Transformation’ programme won’t get much time to rest before setting off for his next charity challenge.

“I will walk the Camino de Santiago with a group of supporters of Gorta-Self Help Africa in late September and we still have 5 places available until the end of August, and I am also hoping to bring a group to Africa early next year please God,” he said.

Participants are still being sought for the Camino event at the end of September, and anyone interested in joining Ronan on his travels can contact Gorta-Self Help Africa on 01 6778880, or email ronan.scully@selfhelpafrica.org to get in contact.

Further information about the upcoming trips is also available at: https://selfhelpafrica.org/ie/events or if you would like to donate towards the work of Gorta Self Help Africa you can do so by sending donations to Gorta Self Help Africa, Westside Resource Centre, Seamus Quirke Road, Westside, Galway. 087 6189094 www.selfhelpafrica.org

Pictures of the ‘Bay to Bay Walk’ are available here.