Seán Scally of Enable Ireland has praised local man Tommy Sheehy for his amazing efforts in the saddle that will raise close to €100,000 for Enable Ireland.
ommy, who originally hails from Castleisland, is living in Tralee and decided to take on an arduous mountain challenge for a great cause.
Tommy has been involved in ‘spin’ fundraising cycles outside retail outlets across the county for Enable Ireland over many years. He recently reached the €90,000 mark and decided to make a final push this year to reach €100,000.
Tommy is nearing the completion of his 200,000 metre target, which he plans to finish by the end of this month (so don’t be surprised if you see Tommy cycling his way through Christmas).
Tommy is no stranger to cycling some of Europe’s toughest mountain challenges, but when Covid brought all travel to a halt, he decided to take on the Short Mountain – between Tralee and Castlemaine.
Tommy will cycle up and down the steep gradient until the magic number of 200,000 metres is reached.
When Tommy looks back at the year’s end, he can take pride in the fact he completed a cycle-climb the equivalent of going up Carrauntoohill 200 times, or Mount Everest 24 times – add to that the huge personal satisfaction of knowing he raised €100,000 for an organisation that does incredible work in Kerry and throughout Ireland helping to make a fundamental difference in people’s lives.
Tommy’s trojan efforts are not lost on those who work behind the scenes at Enable Ireland Kerry. As the Regional Fundraiser for Enable Ireland, Sean Scally knows only too well how difficult the year has been for charities in terms of fundraising. This makes Tommy’s efforts all the more appreciated.
“We’ve been very restricted this year because of Coivd so we are delighted that Tommy has decided to do this for us,” Sean said.
“It’s been a challenging year and this money is a godsend to us. Tommy has gone the extra mile for us this year, it’s been a blessing to have him on board, it really has.” Sean explains that any money raised locally, stays local. This makes Tommy’s efforts all the more significant as he is making a direct contribution to his community that will go a long way towards helping to keep a vital service on the move.
Speaking to The Kerryman earlier this month about the challenge, Tommy said this is by far the toughest he has taken on to date.
Tommy talks about the need to combine the physical strength with the mental strength required to keep traipsing up and down the mountain while tackling the climb. Since 2011, Tommy has done three tours of the French Alps, two tours of the Pyrenees – on the French and Spanish sides.
“I’ve also been up the Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain and toured Slovenia and Croatia and northern Italy – but I still say that the ‘Short Mountain Challenge 2020’ is the toughest one yet,” said Tommy.
When Tommy is not busy cycling he, along with his wife Maura, is busy running their popular and award-winning business: Maura’s Cottage Flowers on the outskirts of Tralee.