Quintet set to ‘Canoe for Cancer’

Owen Coughlan, Niall Noonan, Dan McGann and Niall Cassidy are seeting their sights on raising �5,000 for charity by canoeing down the Shannon.
Charity fundraisers have steadily become an almost constant factor of everyday life.

Charity fundraisers have steadily become an almost constant factor of everyday life.

Later this month, five volunteers from the wider Longford region aim to do their bit for philantrophy by taking on a 360 mile trek of the River Shannon on canoes.

Alex McGann, Niall Cassidy, Owen Coughlan, Dan McGann and Niall Noonan are the quintet of brave enthusiasts set to take part in the July 20 appeal.

Fittingly dubbed ‘Canoeing for Cancer’, the group have also set their sights on raising €5,000 through online charity website, mycharity.ie.

“Everyone has someone affected by it (cancer),” remarked an upbeat Dan as he looked ahead to the event in ten days time.

It’s not the first time the crew have paddled their way down some of the country’s longest and most historic routeways.

A couple of years ago, a voyage of the Royal Canal was undertaken. This, according to Dan however, is a quest of an altogether different kind.

Starting from the Shannon Pot in Co Cavan, the group plan on completing the route in ten days, finshing their voyage at Limerick’s Shannon Estuary.

Dan confided there’s a quiet sense of optimism among the group, all of whom are close friends and off college-going age.

“We have done a good bit of training and Alex who is over in Glasgow has been doing his own thing. We are all 19 and fit enough so we’re confident we can do it.”

What could provide the biggest test, Dan confided, may come not from strength and conditioning anxieties, but from circumstances outside their control.

“The south west has the prevailing wind and that’s the exact course of the Shannon so that could be a bit of a challenge,” he added.

Encountering swailing currents is another obstacle facing the group. According to Dan though, should the situation require it, all five can call on their swimming prowess.

“The lakes will be tough too, but we can all swim so it’s not so bad.”

Joking aside, Dan and the group have earmarked a fundraising night set for this Friday (July 12) in which to near their €5,000 estimated mark.

The evening is set for McGann’s Bar in Killashee with live music coming courtesy of ‘Story House’. An open mic session is also in store, all of which is set to commence from 9pm.

“We are hoping to reach €5,000 over the next few weeks, so we are hoping for a good turnout on Friday,” said an expectant Dan.

To make a donation to the Canoeing for Cancer fundraiser, simply log onto http://www.mycharity.ie/event/canoeing_for_cancer

The lads also have a Facebook page set up with over 200 ‘likes’ to their name as interest in their daunting adventure steadily takes hold.

It’s a figure , you get the feeling, that might just continue to grow between now and July 20.