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27 Sept 2022

Donegal group to scale the heights in unique charity challenge

A group of six from Donegal aim to climb the highest mountain in each province - all inside 24 hours

 The Big 4 in 24

The group of six are taking on The Big 4 in 24

A group of six from Donegal are preparing to embark on a gruelling challenge of climbing the highest peak in each of Ireland’s four provinces - all inside 24 hours!

‘The Big 4 in 24’ is a unique challenge that will see the group raise money for Little Blue Heroes.

St Johnston man Don Pearson, Creeslough’s Cathal McGettigan, Sharon Ward from Malin Head, Kerrykeel native Damian Rogers, Paddy Robinson who hails from Crolly and Gweedore woman Fiona Nic Fhionnlaoich will take on the towering expedition on June 24-25.

They’ll begin on the 850m Slieve Donard in Down before tracking to Lugnaquilla in Wicklow, standing at 925m, followed by the 814m of Mweelrea in Mayo.

They finish on Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil, in Kerry, which rises to 1038m.

“The big thing we need to watch is our timing,” Pearson tells Donegal Live.

“We’re starting on Donard at 3pm on the Saturday and that means we’ll start on Lugnaquilla while it’s still daylight. We’ll go up Mweelrea in the dark and come down in the light.

“The zig-zagging of the country adds to it. A few of us have been chatting about it since last year so it was brewing away for a while.”

Little Blue Heroes is a not-for-profit charity operated entirely by volunteers made up of Garda members/staff, retired Garda members, their families, friends and civic minded people from communities.

It aims to help families in need from local communities in Ireland who have children undergoing long-term medical treatments for serious illnesses.

Last year the charity managed the distribution of €350,000 to aid children and families in dealing with the illnesses and special treatments.

It is only through donations  that  charities like Little Blue Heroes are able to provide such assistance. Little Blue Heroes relies on the fundraising challenges, like the Big 4 in 24, in order to be able to provide such assistance and to be able to continue to provide such assistance.

Some of the group are training for their own individuals challenges such as the Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Race or the Seven Sisters Mountain Race.

“We are all doing our own mad things,” Pearson smiles.

An Garda Síochana are on board to aid with some of the logistics and the group have a driver in Eamon Ward who is also heavily involved with the route planning.

The Big 4 in 24 will be officially launched on Saturday, February 5, at Arena 7 in Letterkenny.

You can donate to the challenge here: https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11425484_diane-robinson-s-page.html?fbclid=IwAR1ygDbKJd_i3ZTlmIv4H3Wfvy8HbNtUXvkJnP-G50oIFJR2UB7mdEtp4DM

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