“We’re obviously delighted. Words, other than Thank You, escape us at a moment like that. It is the biggest single donation that Bumbleance has ever received. It means that we will be able to transport 25 children from anywhere in the country to Dublin over the next few months,” said an obviously impressed and thankful, Tony Heffernan, founder and CEO of The Saoirse Foundation.
Mr. Heffernan spoke to The Maine Valley Post on Monday in the wake of being presented, on Saturday evening, with a cheque for €20,300 by the organisers of ‘The Longest Day’ event .
The huge amount was generated from the seed of an idea born on the counter of Tom McCarthy’s Bar on a dark and stormy night last January. It came of age and earned its keep on ‘The Longest Day’ on Saturday, June 21st and it gathered a fantastic total of €20,300 for its chosen ‘Bumbleance Children’s Ambulance Service’ charity.
The high-stool notion of cycling from Castleisland to the base of the highest mountain and then climbing Carrauntouhill and then cycling back home took off soon after it was first mooted by Tom McCarthy and Denny Greaney.
It was then adopted and nurtured by a team of voluntary organisers and hardened into the hugely successful event it became on that longest day.
Some 140 cyclists took to the road and to the mountain on that day. Their arrival back in Castleisland just after the Angelus on that Saturday evening was tinged with emotion for many of the waiting crowd. There was a sense of realisation that the participants had achieved something out beyond our concept of the ordinary
The party and the barbecue, which followed the homecoming that night is the stuff of legend.
Co-organiser, Denny Greaney said that several charities have been on to them already to consider them for a slice of the funds for next year’s event – if there will be one.
“Will there be,” I asked Denny after Saturday evening’s cheque presentation.
“We’re still only getting over this event and the presentation tonight was another step in getting it wrapped up. That’s something we’ll have to consider over the next few months. I mean we didn’t start planning for this year until last January. It’s looking like we’ll have to do it all over again next June,” said Denny with a smile that confirmed that The Longest Day will be circled in Tom McCarthy’s 2015 calendar as soon as it goes on the wall. In the meantime, they’ll be well entitled to take a bow for a job extremely well done.