Wicklow People (West Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By EIMEAR DODD

THE an­nual Father Wil­lie Walsh walk was held last week­end with around 95 walk­ers, aged be­tween 2 and 90 years, tak­ing part.

John O’Reilly, Ir­ish Red Cross and walk co-or­di­na­tor for around 30 years, mapped out a new fam­ily friendly route this year.

He was as­sisted on the day by Glen of Imaal Moun­tain Res­cue per­son­nel Robert Far­relly, Diar­muid Scully, Sean Byrne and Robert and San­dra Power. With­out the help of John and the Glen of Imaal Moun­tain Res­cue, the walk could not take place.

Fr Walsh sent his best wishes to all those in­volved on the day from his base in Ki­tale, Kenya and his brother, Sean, spoke on his be­half. Sean men­tioned the 100 per cent safety record of the walk and wished ev­ery­one a safe walk.

He also spoke about the work car­ried out in Kenya due to the fundrais­ing car­ried out in the community. This in­cludes feed­ing pro­grammes, school class­rooms, li­brary and help with univer­sity fees. The pri­mary fo­cus is on pro­vid­ing qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.

Cather­ine, Fr Wil­lie’s mother, who re­cently cel­e­brated her 98th birth­day, was there to wel­come the walk­ers back. Mary Case and Breda Dowl­ing pro­vided re­fresh­ments after­wards.

Fr Walsh will re­turn home in Oc­to­ber. All money col­lected will be pre­sented to him be­fore he re­turns to Kenya next Jan­uary.

The or­gan­is­ers of the walk also ex­tended their thanks to Coillte and the Depart­ment of De­fence who pro­vided the route and park­ing.

John O’Reilly (on right) gets set to lead the walk.

Joe O’Brien, Gretta O’Brien, Mar­garet Fitzger­ald, Jus­tine O’Brien and Niall O’Brien.

John Spane, Pat O’Toole and Paul O’Toole.

Eileen Clarke, Tr­ish Car­roll and Peggy Cur­ran.

Mary Man­ley, Michael Walsh and Mar­gaet Flynn.

John Fitzger­ald and John O’Reilly.

Gael Wel­don and Mar­garet Byrne.

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