Blog Entry 24

Monday July 8th, 2024

Yesterday saw the end of the Shannon Kayaking trip. We finished with a 37Km paddle that took over 5 hours. I was quite fatigued by the end of it and did not make a blog entry. I think most of the readers will understand. Now having slept, showered and had a more than generous breakfast I am back on the road. I still need about twenty hours sleep to get back to normal and when I do I will finish this blog and thank every one of the many people who have made this challenge possible and even enjoyable at times. Until then thank you for reading this and I’ll be in touch soon.

Blog Entry 23

Saturday July 6th, 2024

About three weeks ago I asked the ESB lock keeper about locking through Ardnacrusha in our kayaks. His answer was that the ESB no longer allows kayaks on any of the water controlled by them. He also said that there is no usable exit point at Parteen Weir, so we should portage around from the end of Lough Derg. Today we went on a recce of Parteen Weir and found that the lock keeper was absolutely correct. So we launched from below Parteen Weir and paddled up stream to it. In the course of this we passed O’Brien’s Bridge and met a lot of enthusiastic kayakers in training as well as swimmers who use a beautiful launch site at the bridge. This launch site is under a foot bridge and looks like it belongs in Hobbiton. We finished our paddle today at Worrells End. The water from there to Limerick is not navigable using a sea kayak.

This evening we looked at our get in point in Limerick. It is directly across the river from King John’s Castle and we will be there for the outgoing tide in the morning. We will make as much progress as possible in the morning while the tide lasts.

Blog Entry 22

Friday July 5th, 2024

Today we got back on the water and tackled most of Lough Derg.

Our first leg from Portumna was lively and we had a brisk wind right in our faces so the passage to Kilgarvan was a hard push. We stopped for just long enough to eat a sandwich and decided to press on. As we got back on the water the wind died down to a gentle breeze and the waves subsided giving us a smooth passage to Dromineer where our support crew were waiting with hot soup, sausage rolls and omelettes. Having eaten and rested for a while the four paddlers (Eamonn, Adam, Maria and me) got back on the water and headed to Garrykennedy. Everything started fine but when we passed the headland after Dromineer the wind rose to a force 4 or 5 and the waves topped 1.5 metres. At this point I want to thank Hugh from The Canoe Centre. Hugh advised me on getting our second tandem kayak, a Wave Sport Horizon. This boat stayed totally stable throughout the absolutely exhilarating passage and we arrived safe, and well, and exhausted in Garrykennedy.

Last night saw the end of phase two of our support. Robert Chester and Tom Clarke accompanied us in their Haines 36 from Tarmonbarry to Dromineer. They provided us a base to eat together as a group and a place for some of us to lay our weary heads at night. They both worked like trojans to make the trip both memorable and easy. We will miss them as we progress.

At this point we need to make up time on our journey as our enforced rest day sees us behind on our schedule. It may be that we need to put a pin in the last part of the journey and come back when the weather improves, and by weather I mean wind. Our breakfast war council in the morning will help make that decision.

Blog Entry 21

Thursday July 4th, 2024

I hope everyone has had a happy 4th of July.

The weather today was bright, sunny, and extremely windy on Lough Derg, so we have been tied up in Portumna. We used the day to catch up on simple things like laundry as we were all getting to be a little stinky. Having cleaned our clothes and ourselves we met up with David Wilkinson in Dromineer for lunch. Like me David is living with Parkinson’s. He hosted us to a wonderful lunch while we look out at the white peaks on the waves and realised how right we were to stay off the water.

Having not gone paddling today my body has started to realise how tired it is, so now at 8pm I am off to bed. Hope the winds tomorrow are better.

Blog Entry 20

Wednesday July 3rd, 2024

Sorry folks I missed blogging yesterday. I have been both busy paddling and without power for digital devices. We went from Athlone to Banagher via Clonmacnoise and Shannon Bridge. Clonmacnoise is a majestic old monastic site and approaching it from the river gives a wonderful view. The round tower was built to keep the monks safe from Vikings. Coming to the tower in kayaks is almost a Viking experience. When we reached Banagher we had a reception committee. The local branch of Parkinson’s Ireland was there to meet us and we were especially pleased to meet George and Cora. George was the school principal in Banagher and he started a kayaking club for his pupils, some of whom were in attendance. We were especially pleased to meet George who is obviously still held in high esteem by his past pupils.

The trip from Banagher to Portumna was very challenging. There was a very high wind coming directly against us. We had Tullamore canoe club with us for that leg and their moral support really helped. I had a bit of an adventure myself on the way. I stepped out of my kayak mid river and onto the barge that is supporting us for this stretch, to use the facilities. We did not secure the kayak properly and so a couple of minutes later the wind had caught it and blown it up stream. It took quite a while to get it back.

Another level to the adventure was a technical issue with Florence a boat accompanying us on the trip. The gents in Florence have been feeding us each evening and making sure we are all ready to paddle every morning. As the guys (Rob and Tom) in Florence said Portumna Bridge was the best place to have an issue like that. There is an Emerald Star base here and they asked for help. Within minutes there was an engineer on the boat who diagnosed the issue and showed the guys a work around that will get them through the trip.

A gale is predicted for Lough Derg tomorrow so we will batten down the hatches, and rest up here in Portumna Bridge. Discretion being the better part of valour. I will update the blog tomorrow in between doing laundry as we are starting to get a bit ripe. Until then, take care.

Blog Entry 19

Monday July 1st.

Today we paddled from Lanesborough to Athlone. Conditions were good as the wind was behind us for the most part. That said, I feel really good about reaching Athlone, the centre of Ireland. We had Steven and David Perry as visiting paddlers today from Port Runny to Hodson Bay. They seemed to enjoy the paddle even though the following seas were more than playful. Having paddled for four days now, I am tired and will get myself off for a good night’s sleep, My thanks to everyone on my support team and indeed to all who take time to read this blog. Good Night.

Blog Entry 18

Subday June 30th.

This morning we paddled from Rooskey to Tarmonbarry and really enjoyed the quiet magnificence of the river. Having the wind behind us helped a lot and we arrived at Tarmonbarry to be welcomed by people from both Payzone (Frank and his niece Rachel) and by folks from Parkinsons Longford.#

From Tarmonbarry we were accompanied by Shane from Parkinson’s Ireland. He paddled manfully for 12km to reach  Lanesborough and I hope he enjoyed the trip.

Unfortunately I did not get a chance to chat with Shane post paddle. I got involved with the logistics of the trip when we arrived at Tarmonbarry and I neglected my medication. The net result was that I finished the paddle completely exhausted and just fell into bed. I am up now and back to normal. Parkinson’s can be managed but only if we play by the rules and medicate ourselves at the correct time. As soon as we slip up, Parkinson’s is eager to tap us on the shoulder and remind us why we take the medication.

Today marks a new phase on the journey. Our land based support squad of Tony and Marita have gone home. They have been replaced by two water based support squads. Robbie and Tom will accompany us in their river cruiser and Doreen’s cousin John with his wife Catriona will also be there with their barge. The standard set by Tony and Marita has been very high. Let’s see how our water crew live up to the challenge. 

Blog Entry 17

Sunday June 30th.

Yesterday we were also accompanied by Glenn from Payzone. Glenn brought his own boat, but more than that he brought along his family. We were delighted to have young people (under 10) out on the water with us. Like Mary and Brenda they supplied enthusiasm and energy to the paddle and even did what their father told them. We hope they had a great time as they continues on to Galway even if it was for just one day.

Blog Entry 16

Saturday June 29th, 2024

Today we had three great paddling sessions. Starting in Leitrim Village where we stopped last night. We paddled to Carrick-On-Shannon where we met up with Mary and Brenda from Payzone. Brenda and Mary accompanied us to Albert Lock and their good humour and conversation powered our paddling along. From Albert Lock we paddled down stream to Roosky. The river gods were really with us as the breeze came in from the North and powered us along nearly as well as Mary and Brenda. We have just arrived at out Leitrim base, hung everything out to dry and had a shower.

Doreen, Marita and Tony were our support crew and they provided hot and cold food at all stops, including Cornettos at Albert Lock. I have to admit we could not do this trip[ without them. They have ferried us around and taken care of our every need. So if anyone is to be congratulated and encouraged it is the support crew not limelight hogs like me.

Blog Entry 15

Friday June 28th, 2024 PM

A great day on the water.

Today we had Jim and Barry from Payzone as our paddling guests. These two gentlemen quite literally pulled their own weight as we paddled from Spencer Harbour to Drumshanbo. They were great company and provided us with chat and craic for the paddle, which is essentially what we want from all of our paddling guests.

When we reached Drumshanbo lock we were greeted by our support crew and Raymond the Lock Keeper. Raymond when he heard what we were doing insisted on making a donation. He then went above and beyond the call of duty and boiled kettles of water for us to make tea and coffee. A hot drink to have with your sandwich is beyond price when out paddling. So Raymond from Drumshanbo is one of our heroes of the trip. I hope we find more like Raymond as we continue our challenge.


Blog Entry 14

Friday June 28th, 2024

Today is the start of my Paddle4Parkinsons challenge. It is a typical Irish day in June with grey skies, wind, a little rain and temperatures between 10 and 15 C. I have a great group of supporters with me both on and off the water, and last night we did a recce to Dowra. The water level is so low that launching there just can’t happen. I will post some pictures of Eamonn walking in the river hoping to find a good spot to launch. We have decided that Spencer Harbour being the next accessible get in is where we will start today. We will have two paddling guests today from Payzone. Jim and Barry will be made very welcome and I hope they enjoy the paddle.

My thoughts can not but go to Tommy Doyle and his loving family who have been such a support to me over the past weeks. Although I will not be there my mind and spirit will be with the family as they lay Tommy to rest. I hope that Tommy’s spirit and my Dad’s will be with me as I kayak down the Shannon this week. It is the type of adventure they would have enjoyed together.

Blog Entry 13

Tuesday June 25th, 2024.

I got back on the water yesterday evening with Eamonn, Maria, Adam and Jack. It was a lovely calm, paddle and it showed no real damage done by COVID.
When I got home it was to the news that my uncle Tommy has passed away. The shock was and is hard to get over. Tommy and my Dad were part of a group of big men who influenced my life and the lives of my cousins for the better, for as long as I can remember. Although Tommy’s generation and mine might not talk about love, his love for his family was apparent in everything he did.
His membership of this group of giants who guided me in my childhood is only a part of why I hold him in such respect. That said I can narrow it down to a single day when Tommy saved my life. I was around 10 and our two families were going for a day out. I thought we were going to the beach and had myself convinced that we would end up there. When we stopped in St. Anne’s estate I decided it was not for me and took to my heels. I remember running a long way and eventually going into someone’s front garden to rest. Tommy found me and talked with me while he slowly brought me back to the family. Tommy finding me instead of my Dad is the part where he saved my life, as Dad might have murdered me. Actually my Dad was not a violent man and I have never seen him touch anyone in anger, but as he said himself if he had found me he would not be held responsible. So Tommy may not have actually saved my life, but at the very least saved me from some very harsh words.
The main thing Tommy did for me that day was he talked with me. It is the first experience I remember of an adult actually talking to me and listening to what I said. Tommy gently and patiently explained about how families work and all of the things that parents have to deal with. For me that was a gateway into my beginning to see the world past myself. For this patience, thoughtfulness, and gentleness from a big and powerful man I will always remember, respect and indeed love Tommy Doyle.
The last time I met Tommy was when Eamonn and I collected the yellow tandem kayak, and paddled directly from the Canoe Centre to Ringsend. Tommy was there waiting for us to come ashore. Tommy of course gave a hand stowing the boat on the car roof rack. Right up to the end Tommy did what he always did. He helped someone else.

Blog Entry 12 

Monday June 24th, 2024.

Finally up and about after COVID and I find that this is the week when my big challenge starts. How did that happen?
COVID has prevented me from training for the past fortnight. Now all I can do is get back paddling this evening and hope that I already had the majority of training done. Jack my 16 year old said last night that he probably should get back in a kayak before we get to the Shannon. At his age that is possible and he might hurt himself a bit but he has that secret weapon. He is 16 and recovers very quickly. At my age I hope I recover in time for Christmas.

The next few days will be taken up with organising the logistics of getting a group of people down the entire length of the Shannon river. Part of this is of course planning the route. I managed to talk with the lock keeper for Ardnacrusha. He told me outright that kayaks are not allowed in the stretch of water from Parteen weir to the power stating at Ardnacrusha. This means we will need to portage around the power station. Before closing the door on getting down the Ardnacrusha lock (100 feet) I will try to find out if anyone is planning on going down the lock in a large boat or barge. If so, I will unashamedly try to hitch a lift for Eamonn, me, and our kayaks.
Over the course of the next three days I will contact all of the people who have offered help and support. My plan is to accept everything offered. This will help me and the paddling group to make contact with more people along the route and spread more awareness about Parkinson’s.
I hope to get updates out daily from this point as every day will see more news to talk about.

Blog Entry 11 

Sunday June 16th, 2024.

Frank had a good week training but came down with COVID on Friday. He seems to be over the worst of it, but will be out of commission until Wednesday at the earliest. Not the best for his training schedule but hopefully will not derail the challenge.

Blog Entry 10 

Sunday June 9th, 2024.

First some really good news. The original fundraising target for this challenge was €10,000. We have gone beyond that and may even bring it to €20,000. For me this is great news because I have no view of how well the challenge is working in making people aware of Parkinson’s. The only real measurement is how many people have contributed and left messages. So my hope is that having reached the original fundraising target we have made a number of people aware.

This week my paddling buddies and I got bored with our local but great stomping grounds. We hitched the boats up on the car and headed for Dalkey. The evening was windy and the tide was out but we ventured on the water any way. I am so glad we did. The conditions were similar to conditions on a lake with a stiff breeze. The practice was well worth our time. That says nothing of the views we got paddling around Dalkey Island and then on to Killiney beach. The seal colony on the island was great to see, but most of them looked bored with us. I think kayakers are no longer of interest to us. A couple of pups got excited and entered the water, quickly followed by their mothers. I can imagine the scolding they got. I will try to get some images out on our YouTube channel.

In terms of the challenge we are getting down to the quick of it (although it will not be quick). I am at that nervous excitement phase a bit like the gap between diving into cold water and actually entering the water. I seriously question the sense of doing it. There is no backing out now, especially as so many people have been so kind both with supporting the cause and supporting me in getting ready to complete the paddle.
The next three weeks are looking very exciting for me.

Blog Entry 9 

Sunday June 2nd, 2024.

Under four weeks to go or as my boys said when they were young 26 sleeps. The campaign is getting to the point where answers to questions need to be more immediate. The paddling is progressing but the daya to day running of the trip is coming into focus more and more. I published the initial route and so now need to make sure there is a bed for everyone on the team for each noght that we are on the river. Because this is a live project everythinmg changes constantly. That said for every new challenge that raises it’s head the solution never seems to be far behind. Just this week I found that we may be short of a spot to sleep for two of the crew. One day later a dear friend Vincent called to ask could he provide a hotel room for one of the nights of the campaign. So I am hopeful that at this stage we will be on the water early Friday June 28th and we will make a steady progress to emerging onto the Estuary a little over a week later.

I was just told that Lough Ree Access for All has offered a small reception for us in Lanesborough. The centre there does stellar work making the water way accessible to people with both physical or intellectual difficulties. I am humbled by the fact that they would take time for this campaign.
Paddling progresses and today Eamonn and went to Lambay again. I will try to put the track up in the gallery. We were accompanied by Eamonn’s wife Maria and my eldest son Adam. Because of tides and sea conditions the trip took a bit longer. We had a great crossing with a few rollers and very light winds. The activity on the water today was great to see. Commercial fishing boats, yachts sailing around Rockabill, and small craft out for a spot of fishing. From the sea bird activity there must have been plenty of fish around. It was great to see Gannets diving for there own fish as opposed to the Fulmars who were mugging the small vessels.
That is it for now I will be back on the water tomorrow and looking forward to sharing some of the good I get from being there with anyone who will listen.

Blog Entry 8

We are five weeks and one day away from the start of this adventure, and I just had a meeting with the Parkinson’s Ireland leadership team. Shane the CEO has volunteered to come out on one of the longest sections of the trip. This is in my opinion an act of heroism as Shane can’t swim.
Training this week has been both good and bad. The bad bit being the apathy barrier that Parkinson’s brings to lots of life’s activities. On Tuesday I had finished my day’s work and knew that I needed to go training. Thinking about just the logistics of a simple training session almost had me paralysed. Thinking about hhoisting an 88lb double kayak onto a roof rack does no one any good. When you add Parkinson’s to that and look at the aspects of gearing up, getting the tides right, and hauling the boat across rocks and sand to get to the sea I was surprised I actually go the session done.
The good part was that as soon as Eamonn and I had paddled out just the first 100 metres all the cares and trouble fell behind. The sea was as smooth as glass and there was no wind. Rockabill lioghthouse looked almost close enough to touch. We didn’t bother discussing the route. On a calm evening like that Lambey Island has an almost magnetic pull. The tide as it turns out was almost perfect and we paddled across in under 40 minutes. Coming back we were facing into the setting sun and could see some thunder heads approaching. Luckily we got back to shore before the weather turned and headed home tired but happy.
Until now I have been a little sceptical about exercise making things better. As an example I always feel worse the day after my Pilates. That single training session has actually convinced me that exercise can indeed m ake a difference. I got home feeling so much better than when I left and it was all down to the paddling.
So if whether you have Parkinson’s or not I am addinmg my voice to all those telling you that exercise is good. I think that it just needs to be the right exercise for you.

Blog Entry 7

Saturday May 18th, 2024.
Another good week of paddling and preparing. Paddled 4 days in a row between 8 and 16 kilometres per session. The sea sessions were as always more interesting and indeed more challenging. We tried the Wave Sport Horizon double kayak out in some waves and surf. It handles differently to the Hydras but still gives a sense of security. The Hydra tries to go over the wavers where the Horizon tends to just push straight through. The occasional wave breaking over my chest really kept me awake and concentrating. I am not sure Eamonn noticed so much as he was behind me and possibly did not get the same amount of water hitting him.
I have at last made a start at the schedule for the Shannon trip. This schedule is based on putting in and getting out on the East of each of the lakes and indeed the Shannon Estuary. I will put together an alternative for each of the lake shore stops on the West of the lake so that wind conditions can be allowed for. the timetable is posted in gallery.

Blog Entry 6

Monday May 13th, 2024.
The good weather for the past week has been great for paddling. Eamonn and I are putting in a lot of kilometres in both single kayaks and our double kayak. Over the weekend we put to sea and travelled from Donabate to Rush. A lovely paddle with enough Waves to make it interesting. We met a couple of seals who were curious and followed us around Rush headland. We hope to get in a lot more time at sea before the Shannon challenge starts. Later this week I will post the highlights of our first sea trip on the YouTube channel. Here is the channel link:

From a Parkinson’s point of view my main challenges are energy and apathy. Sometimes it is hard to separate the two. Do I not feel like training because I really don’t have the energy, or because my apathy level is high, and I just can’t be bothered? When I get into the kayak and feel the breeze on my face it is clear to me which caused my reluctance, and I usually enjoy the session. There is nothing that wakes you up like a wave breaking over your boat and threatening to capsize you.

Fundraising is moving on a pace. We now have our first sub-campaign started and it is ambitious setting itself a target that is higher than the original main campaign target. All I can say is thanks to the folks contributing and I hope we all reach or even exceed our targets.

Blog Entry 5

Wednesday May 5th, 2024.
Another Friday passed and I missed another Blog entry. The good news is that I am paddling a lot more than on previous weeks. In truth like a lot of people I prefer paddling to writing about it. The other thing I noticed is that I am writing about Paddling and not so much about Parkinson’s.
Let me get the paddling part done first and then a few words on how Parkinson’s is affecting my training plan for Paddle4Parkinsons.
I am now paddling at least three times a week. Last week I got up to 4 times and had consecutive sessions on Sunday and Monday. I started the Monday session tired and it was a struggle paddling up stream from Palmerston. This is starting to give a taste of the challenge before me.

In February I was prescribed both Levodopa (Sinemet) and Trihexyphenidyl (Artane). My Parkinson’s symptoms are largely controlled by this although first thing in the morning is quite ropy. Managing energy to allow me to train is my main challenge. So far, I have not pushed myself too far although I do need to rest (a.k.a. go for a nap) after most training sessions.
The P4P campaign is progressing, and I will have routes planned for the Shannon be the end of this week. My aim is to have alternate routes for the lakes that are weather dependent so that I can choose the more sheltered route for any session. This may be a longer route but will not be as tiring.
Some of the supports I am getting for the campaign are great. I have been offered sleeping accommodation in both Glasson and Dromineer. The kindness of strangers is a wonderful thing.

Blog Entry 4

Sunday April 28th, 2024.
Wednesday’s paddle was very tiring but satisfying. We paddled upstream on the Liffey from Palmerston to Straw Hall and back a couple of times. The upstream paddle in a big double kayak is quite strenuous. Trier out Greenland paddles for the first time too. A very different experience and the muscles in my arm let me know that they were working in a different way to adapt to the grip.
A couple of weeks ago Eamonn and I picked up the double kayak from the Canoe Centre in Palmerston. I don’t think it is the normal way to pick up a kayak, as we put it straight in the water and paddled down the Liffey to Ringsend. It was a lovely paddle, and we were lucky with the tide. It being a double we did not shoot the weirs but got out and walked the kayak over. The most interesting part for me was kayaking down the river and under all the bridges. I captured this on video and if you want to see a short version of paddling under the bridges of Dublin, have a look Here.
The day-to-day training happens mainly in the Broadmeadow Estuary. Conditions vary every time we go out. Yesterday we had North-East wind and 2-foot waves. Today the wind has swung around to the west so paddling will be different again.

Below is a link to some of the media coverage of the campaign so far.
Brendan O Connor Show – Saturday 6th April around 11.30 – Philip link: Dublin dad with Parkinson’s disease to paddle down River Shannon for charity
Daily Mail – Maeve Quigley – Monday 8th 16:30 Interviewed with Maeve published in Daily Mail Tuesday 9/4/24
The Sun – Nicola Bardon – Call 9th April at 15:30 – Looking for more photos – family shots etc
Radio Kerry – Deirdre Walsh – Thursday 11th April at 14:30

Blog Entry 3

Wednesday April 24th, 2024.
Confession time first. I had a long-planned trip to go to the World Snooker Championships over the weekend. I missed both training and blogging for the weekend. That said it was a great weekend away and probably my last until I paddle down the Shannon.
Current training schedule is three sessions a week and this will increase as time goes by.
We have had a lot of positive feedback on the campaign to date as well as reaching 44% on our fundraising. This is great progress. If you are reading this then I would urge you to share the campaign as much as possible as awareness of Parkinson’s is even more important than fundraising.

Blog Entry 2

Friday April 12th, 2024.

It has been a hectic week for me kicking off the Paddle4Parkinsons campaign. Through luck rather than planning this has coincided with Parkinson’s Awareness Week.

I have been interviewed by several radio programs and Newspapers. This has I hope helped in raising awareness and it certainly has given the fundraising part of the campaign a great kick-off.

In training I have been out paddling with Eamonn on the Liffey and on our usual paddling ground the Broadmeadow estuary. On the Liffey we put in at Palmerstown weir and paddled up stream under the M50 bridge. There was a very high water level in the river so paddling upstream was a challenge.


Next week I will again be training on the river and in the estuary, so if you see a couple of folks paddling give a wave, it might just be me and Eamonn.

I will also be working on the planning and logistics of paddling down the Shannon.

So please keep in touch with Paddle4Parkinson’s and if you feel like donating or running your own fundraiser have a look Here

Blog Entry 1

Hi, this is Frank and Paddle4Parkinsons is now under way. At least the training part and this bit to let people know that it is happening. Like many I want to do the good stuff (like paddling) and tend to ignore the more mundane things that make events happen. So here for me is the hardest part of Paddle4Parkinsons, sharing with anyone who cares enough to read this Blog.
Friday April 5th, 2024.
As part of my first Blog, I should let everyone know what Paddle4Parkinsons is and who is involved.
Paddle4Parkinsons originated as a long-term pipe dream I have had since I took up Kayaking 8 years ago. Like many I want to do something a bit unusual and, in my book, paddling the Shannon from source to sea counts. Being diagnosed with Parkinsons has focussed me on achieving this as a personal goal. While I am on this journey, I feel that it could and should be used. So, I am using it to mainly inform people about Parkinson’s. I want to let them know that life with Parkinson’s is as good as you make it and that big physical challenges can still be met. The fundraising part is still important, and I hope everyone who reads this will do what they can to help with the fundraising. That said if even one person uses this adventure to make their life with Parkinson’s better then it is a success.
Who is involved.

Frank (Me) and I get to benefit from the support of lots of people and paddle down the Shannon.

Eamonn who has taught me everything I know about kayaking has volunteered to accompany me on this adventure and help me through it. Eamonn is a fellow leader in the Donabate/Portrane Sea Scouts, and he gives time to working with young people tirelessly.

Doreen my wife and partner has not told me I am crazy but encourages me to stretch myself and meet the physical challenges of Parkinson’s.

Adam and Jack my sons who will accompany me on my journey. Jack is providing help with the web site and social media in the way that a 16-year-old can for as he says “An aul fella” like me.

Carmel my cousin who has contributed unstintingly with time and wisdom.

Parkinson’s Ireland supports me as they support all of the 15,000 people living with Parkinson’s in Ireland.

The Shower Doctor a small business with a big heart has helped by providing a double kayak to enable long distance paddling.

The Canoe Centre for helping with kayaks and equipment.

PAYZONE Ireland my employer who has responded to my having Parkinson’s in the most positive way I can imagine. PAYZONE is supporting Paddle4Parkinsons by giving me time. Time to train. Time to complete the event. Time to deal with the normal day to day parts of living with Parkinson’s. I know as the journey continues PAYZONE is there for me in a way I never imagined an employer could or would be.

For 4 weeks now Eamonn and I have been paddling around the Broadmeadow Estuary on Friday and Sunday.
Last Friday we took possession of our tandem kayak (Wavesport Horizon) and to the astonishment of the staff at The Canoe Centre we popped it straight in the Liffey and paddled down to Ringsend. Have a look at our instagram for some pictures. click here

This week we will see what Storm Kathleen does and be out training again as soon as possible.

I am undertaking to update this Blog at least every Friday to let everyone know what the training plan is and how it is progressing. So please keep in touch with Paddle4Parkinson’s and if you feel like donating or running your own fundraiser have a look Here.