ON BOARD Fr John Kenny is this year moving his paddle board from Clew Bay to Lough Lannagh in Castlebar to fundraise for Pieta House.
PARTRY Parish Priest, Fr John Kenny, is well-known for his fundraising feats, and this year he is organising a fundraiser for Pieta House on Saturday, July 6, which he has called ‘Lots of Laps of Lough Lanagh’.
Fr Kelly raises thousands of euros each year for various different charities, but none more so than Pieta House, as it is a charity that is really close to his heart.
“Back in 2016, a close friend and colleague of mine Fr Michéal Mannion died tragically. That year I was involved in fundraising with him for a pilgrimage he was doing to Lourdes. When this happened, I decided to go ahead with the fundraising but it became a fundraiser not only for Lourdes that year, we also did it for Pieta House.
“At a later date, I decided myself that I’d continue the fundraising for Pieta House and we ran an event called ‘Pedal Paddle Pilgrimage and Party for Pieta House’. We ran this successful fundraiser for the last three years, but I thought this year it would be nice do something different, with the focus on a different area of the county. The last three years it has been focused on Westport and the Reek but this year we are moving it over to Lough Lannagh in Castlebar,” Fr Kenny told The Mayo News.
Registration will be at 10.30am in the Lough Lannagh Village, with a €10 donation for Pieta House. The first part of the event begins at 11am, where participants are invited to either walk, jog or run around Lough Lannagh, depending on what each individual prefers to do. From 12 noon to 1pm, a cycle event will take place so people are encouraged to bring their bikes to the event or borrow one of the limited available bikes on the day. Participants can do circuits of the lake and if some people are interested, the circuit may be stretched down the Newport road.
On the lake
Then from 1pm to 2pm, participants will have kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards on the lake. There will be gear provided on the day to wear and instructors present to show people who are interested how to use some of the equipment. During the event, music, food and refreshments will be available on the green at Lough Lannagh.
“I chose this particular event because it’s my hobby. I like being outdoors hiking, walking and cycling. I love surfing but I can’t surf as much because I don’t live that close to the sea, so I instead go to the lakes around me in Lough Mask and Lough Carra where I do paddle boarding. I’ve done paddle boarding since 2006 and I even teach a bit from time to time. Since I took it up, it’s become very popular all over the county and the country, and I like to promote it as a sport,” added Fr Kenny.
“This event is about making people aware of the importance of a charity like Pieta House and to give likeminded people a chance to meet and support each other. I would encourage people not to be put off by the fact that there’s a lot of activity involved, it’s all very doable. You can participate in one part or you can try all three, walking, cycling and one of the sports on the lake. It’s all good fun and for a good cause,” he concluded.
MORE If you can’t make the event but still want to donate, you can give €2 every time you text PIETA to 50300. Donations will also be taken on the day of the event.