By BRIAN MOORE
IT’S a long, long way from Clare to here, especially if you’re walking all the way along the coastline like Marty Holland.
Marty (65) is walking around the entire coast of Ireland in aid of the Irish Cancer Society and in remembrance of two of his close friends who sadly, recently lost their battles with cancer.
The Belfast man set off from Co Clare where he now lives, on Thursday May 24th and The Southern Star caught up with Marty as he made his way along the West Cork coastline just outside Skibbereen.
‘I’ve just crossed the 900km point and I’m feeling good,’ Marty said as he prepared to spend the night in Skibbereen, courtesy of the West Cork Hotel. ‘My plan is to walk 4,000km around Ireland’s coastline for the Irish Cancer Society and my target is €50,000. When my two close and dear friends were ill I felt powerless and I decided, following their deaths, to undertake this walk in their memory.’
Marty said that the support he has received from the people of West Cork as he makes his way long the coastline has been truly heart-warming. ‘My grandfather was born in Carrigeen, Butlerstown and I would love to meet up with any of my long lost cousins in the area. Everybody has been so generous and welcoming. I have been offered accommodation and support by so many people I am overwhelmed by the kindness and goodwill.’
Marty will continue his journey along the Cork coastline and on into Lenister and then he plans on calling a halt for this year when he reaches Newry.
‘My plan to continue my walk along the coastline of Ulster and Connaught beginning in Spring 2017. I want to thank Kevin Ger and his wife Sheila O’Sullivan in Glengarriff, Kathleen O’Sullivan at Seaview House in Ballylickey and Kieran and Rose Cronin in Ahakista for helping me with accommodation over the last few weeks and of course the West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen. I would be lost without all the generosity,’ Marty said.
You can support Marty at MyCharity.ie/coast-for-cancer. Or you can log on to his Facebook account for more details. Also, if anybody would like to help Marty with accommodation, or if you are a long lost cousin, you can contact Marty on 086 0257052.