Thursday, September 05, 2019

IT’S a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good.

The lyrics of the Nina Simone classic Feeling Good come to mind following the almost 200 people who rose early to take part in the national dawn walk recently.

The 10kms looped walk started and finished from Presentation de la Salle Bagenalstown, heading to Leighlinbridge along the peaceful, scenic River Barrow.

“We are thrilled, delighted,” said coordinator Michael Cahill. “People were saying how special and memorable it was. There was such a friendly atmosphere at it. The weather was absolutely fantastic, about 20 degrees. The trail was lovely, the river was beautiful.”

Michael Cahill, Suzanne Monahan and Annmarie Doyle at the National Dawn Walk in Bagenasltown

A final tally is not yet known, but several thousand is thought to have been raised for its charity partners LauraLynn Children’s Hospice, CMRF at Crumlin Hospital and for local cancer support centres across Ireland. After the walk, a remembrance ceremony was held with bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty, Kathleen Chada and Michael Cahill taking part.

It was a simple but emotional ceremony, which touched the hearts of many in attendance, including those who had lost loved ones who went through their own cancer experiences.

Michael recalled that you could hear a pin drop during its duration.

He said what will stick in his mind is the goodwill of all who took part, including the 25 volunteers who ensured everything went smoothly.

“Everyone was in such good form for 5am in the morning, including the committee. That always gets me, how Irish people are so willing to give and volunteer to help out … there was a lovely, lovely atmosphere.”

Michael also lauded the support from cancer support centres who participated in the evening, notably Éist Cancer Support Centre in Carlow.

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By Michael Tracey
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