Cheers and Tears Welcome for The Longest Day Heroes

A Friday evening, group text from co-organiser, Gina Fagan set the tone for this morning’s early rout in preparation for the second annual Longest Day Cycle/Climb/Cycle Charity Event. Apart from the core of the message, it speaks volumes of the tight , attention to detail mindset of the group which pulled of another mammoth organisational undertaking today.

“Hi everyone, 

The longest day is finally here can’t believe it’s tomorrow.

So, a few reminders, no grumpy heads in the morning only smiles as you’ve trained long and hard for this day. This time tomorrow you will be on Carrantuohill. Remember cycle and climb. Check in at Tom’s 6.15 am you’ll receive your tee shirt bib number and bag tag.

We will take your bag to Cronin’s yard. Climb only check in at 8.15 am behind in Cronin s yard. Please remember to bring your sponsorship cards if you have not returned them.

Remember it’s 10 degrees cooler at the top of mountain than at the bottom so bring light layers.

Good boots suncream food etc. Look forward to seeing you all tomorrow. Please see event page on Facebook or ring me or anyone of the committee if you have any questions – Gina.”

That set the agenda for the cyclists as they turned out in the early morning rain and smiled through it all. The pain would come later as the ‘old hands’ who had been on the trek last year knew too well.

This morning’s party took off in persistent rain and ground hugging clouds. Matters did get better however, and the day got progressively brighter and warmer.

The huge community effort in the ‘Longest Day 2015’ has been dedicated to the Jack and Jill Foundation and the Clifford family, Ted and Fiona and two of their children Conor and Chloe led the cyclists up through the town this evening and over an imaginary but magic finishing line outside Tom McCarthy’s Bar.

There were emotional scenes and tears as the Cliffords, who know well what the care and friendship of the Jack and Jill Foundation means to a family, made their way through the town with the backing of a community of 157 cyclists, climbers and fundraisers.

There was immense relief too that it all went so well with only the expected blister and aching limbs to report or grumble about this evening.

The stories and pictures of the day will, no doubt be coming out gradually over the coming weeks. In the meantime have a look at some of the pics here from opposite ends of the amazing day.

In doing so, do spare a thought for the people who organised and cycled and climbed today. Then maybe try to understand how justifiably elated they must feel this evening having been involved in an act of such outstanding altruism.

About the Jack and Jill Foundation

The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation provides direct funding, to families of children up to the age of four with brain damage and who suffer severe intellectual and physical developmental delay, enabling them to purchase home respite care.

The Foundation also provides end of life care. These are children who as a result of their condition require intensive home nursing care.

The Foundation gives these families the ‘Gift of Time’ – time to do the things that are so often taken for granted like: shopping, taking their other children to the park, a night’s sleep etc.

Jack and Jill needs to raise over €3 million per year to provide these services.

Less than 19% of our budget comes from the Government so we rely on innovative fundraising campaigns to reach our target.

Please help us to help our families by making a donation or by holding a fundraising event on our behalf. For more on the Jack and Jill Foundation you can click here: