BY HELEN RIDDELL
FOUR Beara-born siblings have completed a trek of the Beara Breifne Way, following the route taken by Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare in 1602.
Siobhan Hawke, Bebhinn O’Sullivan, Shane O’Sullivan and Morgan O’Sullivan walked the gruelling 500km trail from Glengarriff to Leitrim in memory of their late father John Finbarr O’Sullivan and to raise funds for Marymount Hospice and West Cork Palliative Care.
To date, the siblings have raised €11,000.
Thrilled to have completed the trek, Siobhan said it was a tough walk and they covered the equivalent of a marathon every day.
‘Some parts were easier, but most nights when we reached our accommodation we were absolutely shattered. It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do, because by morning we were raring to go again,’ she said.
She praised the generosity and kindness of people they met on the way: ‘Everyone we met was so kind, and once they heard what we were doing, they gave us money towards our fundraising.’
Having grown up on the stories of Donal O’Sullivan Beare, told to them by their late father, Bebhinn said it was particularly poignant to be able to experience the walk for themselves.
‘We had a real sense of walking through history, following in O’Sullivan Beare’s footsteps. Shane carried a pebble with him from Bere Island, where our father was born, and left it at O’Rourke’s Castle in Leitrim,’ she said.
Despite all four of them suffering from blisters at some stage, Siobhan said it was pure stubbornness that made them keep going. ‘The four of us are extremely stubborn and we were determined to make it to Leitrim.’
Bebhinn thanked everyone for their support and donations, and gave special thanks to their mum, Gertie O’Sullivan. ‘Our mother always knew we could do it and, it was her encouragement kept us going.’
Donations can still be made at idonate.ie