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Paralympic hero Gary O’Reilly to be special guest at Timahoe New Year’s Day walk

Gary O'Reilly

The annual New Year’s Day walk in Timahoe has attracted some star names over the years as the official special guest – and that tradition will continue this year with Paralympic bronze medallist Gary O’Reilly.

The Portlaoise man, who won bronze in the paracyling event in Tokyo back in August, will be the guest for the event which will be both a memorial for the late Johnny Dalton and a fundraiser once again for the Irish Wheelchair Association.

The much-loved Johnny Dalton passed away in early January of this year with his funeral taking place at the height of Covid restrictions.

Prior to his death he had been the chief organiser of the Timahoe event for the past 20 years.

The Irish Wheelchair Association was a charity dear to his heart and a fantastic community event for the people of Timahoe and surrounding parishes.

The walk will start in Timahoe village on New Year’s Day 2022 at 1pm.

A feature of the walk – which takes in a route up the scenic Fossey Mountain – has been the presence of a well-known personality to start the walk off.

Among the previous luminaries to have started the race have been Australian Rules star Zach Tuohy, Dr Eva from Operation Transformation, Laois hurler Mark Kavanagh and the McDonalds from Ireland’s Fittest Family.

“We want to bring the walk back as a memorial to him and continue his good work,” says his son David.

“Johnny’s death happened at a time when the country was in the grips of Covid and with only 10 allowed at his funeral we would like to use the walk as a memorial and an opportunity for the many people who contacted us at the time to come to Timahoe and remember him.

“What better way than come to Timahoe enjoy a nice walk on New Year’s Day, have some refreshments afterwards and share some of your memories of Johnny.

“Hopefully we can also raise some funds for a very worthy local cause.”

Sponsorship cards for the walk are available from David who can be contacted on 087 1305448 while you can also contribute to the Go Fund Me page here. 

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