Group of Donegal teachers to walk 500km in virtual challenge

Funds to be raised for St. Bernadette’s Special School, Letterkenny

St. Bernadette's Special School staff

St. Bernadette's Special School staff members who are among those taking part in the Wild Atlantic 500km Virtual Challenge.

A group of nine teachers and SNA’s at St. Bernadette’s Special School in Letterkenny are taking on the Wild Atlantic 500k Virtual Challenge.

Buncrana woman and teacher, Patricia Deeney is aMiddle 1 teacher at St. Bernadette’s, and will be joining her colleagues in the summer challenge to raise much-needed fund for the school.

The Wild Atlantic 500K Virtual Challenge kicked off last Monday (1 June) and will finish on the 31 August. Each participant will walk / run 500km in a three-month period, which works out on average 5.2km per day. Collectively the group will reach 4,500km, working out at one and a half times the size of Ireland’s coastline.

Speaking about the Wild Atlantic 500K Virtual Challenge, Patricia said: “I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in and reaching my 500km target this summer. It is a massive commitment, but I know we will keep each other motivated.

“Since we launched our campaign last week, the support and generosity from the wider community has been amazing. St. Bernadette’s Special School welcomes students from across the county from here in Inishowen to west Donegal, so it’s a really worthy cause to support.

“If anyone would like to make a small donation, please feel free to get in touch with me, the school or visit our go fund me page.

Adding to this, John Haran, Principal of St. Bernadette’s Special School said: “Huge well done to the teaching staff and SNA’s of the school for taking part in this event.

“Reaching 500km in three months is no easy task, but it’s brilliant that they’re shining a light on positive mental health and keeping active during these uncertain times.

“The school has done some great work over the last year with two new classrooms due to open for the next term so the funds raised from the 500km virtual challenge will go towards new equipment for the students to enjoy both indoors and outdoors.

“I wish my colleagues the best of luck and look forward to hearing updates throughout the next eleven weeks, where we’ll be rooting them on.”

The teachers and SNA’s taking part in the Wild Atlantic 500KM Virtual Challenge on behalf of St. Bernadette’s Special School include Aisling McMullan, Tina Gallagher, Roseanne McGinley, Ann McGinley, Fiona McFadden, Michelle Shields, Patricia Deeney, Grainne Hamilton and Danielle McNamee.

Based in Letterkenny on the College Farm road, St. Bernadette’s is a co-educational day school for children across the county with mild learning disabilities. The teaching staff work with children aged 4 to 18 who have a variety of special educational needs.

In additional to school staff, St. Bernadette’s also prides themselves on inviting essential external therapists and sports coaches to ensure children have an excellent school experience.

For more information on St. Bernadette’s Special School or enrolment, visit or contact principal John Haran on 074 9122512 or

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