Bray’s ‘Row-A-Round Ireland’ team taking on ‘Shannon by Oar’
The crew behind the epic ‘Row-A-Round Ireland’ challenge of 2015 are at it again.
Three years ago, a Bray-based team, including Joey the dog, successfully circumnavigated Ireland in a 15-foot wooden rowing skiff in aid of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. Now Ger and his team are about to stick their oars in once again.
This month, they will start ‘Shannon By Oar’ in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation and Wicklow Hospice Foundation.
Over their four-month adventure in 2015, they captured the attention of the Irish public and raised €110,000 for their efforts.
Ger Crowley was the man behind the construction of the skiff, dubbed ‘NAMA’. Ger is Joey the dog’s human and while the canine team-member has been out in the boat for training sessions, it is unclear whether he can be enticed out of retirement for the event proper.
Three boats will travel 160 miles down the river Shannon from Thursday, May 31, to Saturday, June 9. Ger has once again built the crafts, along with local volunteers and some of the rowers.
The crew has been training hard in recent weeks in preparation to row the longest river in Ireland. The team of 12 is comprised of rowers of all abilities from Bray, Dublin, Sligo, Limerick, Meath, London and New Zealand. Their courageous campaign will take them from the top of Lough Allen in County Leitrim to Limerick over the nine days.
Along the way, the crew will navigate some 12kms of Lough Allen, 32kms across Lough Ree and 42km over Lough Derg as well as many other small lakes and large stretches of free-flowing river. And, of course, they will be trying to raise as much money as possible in the process. The proceeds will be evenly split between the Irish Hospice Foundation, which delivers hospice care and bereavement supports nationwide, and the Wicklow Hospice Foundation which is about to commence construction of a 15-bed palliative care unit at Maghermore.
‘Very few of us have not been touched by the work of a hospice at some point and the Shannon By Oar crew hopes that the hospice mission to provide dignified end-of-life care, together with its rowers’ valiant undertaking, will inspire the Irish public to support them generously either by donation or by cheering them on as they proceed down the Shannon,’ said the team. To make a donation, find ‘shannonbyoar’ on gofundme.com. Minister for Health Simon Harris has provided sponsorship for the team.
Fionn Crowley, John Hearns, Ronan Whelan, Alan Connolly and Ger Crowley with Joey the dog ahead of the Shannon by Oar challenge.