“Like all good ideas, it was a dark and stormy night in January on a high stool that the notion of climbing Carrauntouhill seemed like a great one. Denny Greaney stated that he’d do it but only for a good cause.” That was how local publican, Tom McCarthy let it slip that a big fundraising venture had just escaped from the idea stage and was being fleshed out.
The Bee for Battens charity was being discussed on Radio Kerry some few days later and Tom McCarthy’s interest was grabbed by their expressed need to raise funds for a much needed ambulance specially adapted for children. Tom rang Denny that minute, the Bumbleance became the focus of their attention and the rest is history in the making.
One this fine morning, from 6-30am, bodies and bikes began to appear in the general vicinity of No. 40 Main Street. The gathering was hectic and rapid. In a matter of minutes the three-woman, al fresco office was under pressure – but reported to be coping. There were last minute check-ins and numbers and pins and baggage handling and other queries to be dealt with.
A wait for an ambulance with the starting time staring them in the face put the organisers on edge. The clock on The Island Centre was threatening to strike 7am when a bark from Denny Greaney launched the throwing of the 120 or so legs over the bars and the planking of bums on saddles. Micheál Donovan’s lead car shrieked twice, a powerful motorbike roared into action, the clock struck 7, Denny Greaney and Tom McCarthy mounted – and they were gone!
“On June 21st. 2014, at 7am we hope to leave Castleisland and cycle the 40km to Cronin’s yard at the base of the mountain, climb and return within six hours and pedal home to the ‘island for the Bikes and Boots BBQ here in the bar and kicking off at 7:30 pm, with live music till late,” said Tom at the launch of the idea in the middle of last winter.
The planning has gone with great precision to date. Let’s wish them all a safe passage there and back to ‘The Island’ this evening. They will be sore and tired but well entitled to engage fully with the planned celebrations at Tom McCarthy’s Bar at No. 40 Main Street this evening. For further information contact: Denny on 086 1959713 or Tom on 086 809 2644. I can see this day and the idea behind it taking a foot-hold on the sheer face of the calendar of events here.