Trinity College Dublin invited Pádraig last Monday to celebrate with them 10 years of the ‘Irish Room’ in the College. Pádraig had fought long and hard, and very successfully, to have not just bilingual sign posts in the College but also a Seomra na Gaeilge where Irish language speakers on campus could get together.
Some of his friends were there, the Provost of the College, the Irish language officer, and current students. He went with his sister and friends while we went into town to do some window shopping.
Next thing, we got a call to say that Pádraig’s chair did not fit through the door.
Here is what I found afterwards on TCD’s website, some of the few English language descriptions in the otherwise Irish language section of TCD.
The Room is located in the Dining Hall building, over the Buttery restaurant (on the top floor). Please go around the right hand side of the Buttery on the outside (past the tennis courts on Botany Bay) and enter through the wooden rear door at the back of the building. Go up the stairs to the very top. See images below.
Obviously, they had overcome the problem with the stairs but had ‘fallen’ at the last hurdle. By the time we got back to TCD’s main square, Pádraig had managed to get into the room – by whatever means.
At the time we didn’t ask. But later it transpired that the College had called a carpenter at home and had asked him to come in to fix that door. I think, they took out part of the frame.
I am not sure whether it was because of his quite dramatic entry or because he got so many mentions by the speakers, or maybe both, – he had an absolute ball and one of the best nights since his accident. Most importantly, we weren’t around, he did not need us at all. It was his gig with his friends.
After Pádraig and his friends had practically kicked in the door, or was it just the frame?, they had a few hours of celebrations, speeches, and good company.
Pat and I went to the Bank, a nice pub in town, had a drink, something small to eat, listened to Bob Dylan and Neil Young, thinking how strange it was to hear them playing in a building that had been converted from a bank into a pretty swanky pub. We also noticed how unusual it was for us to go out on our own. Anywhere. And whether it was as hard for Pádraig as we imagined it, to get to this room with is friends. Maybe it was harder for us to think about ‘all this’ than it was for him to do it.
I think in the end, we all had a great night to remember.
The week went by with Pádraig making great advances with his head control. I had noticed during transfers that his head is no longer as ‘loose’ as it was after his accident. He still struggles, but he can now hold and turn his head for several minutes with our any help.
On Saturday, the three of us went to IKEA to buy some small things. Pádraig had a few of the famous meatballs with noodles and tomato sauce in what must be the country’s largest sit-down indoors restaurant. The bill came to just over 13 euro. For the three of us. We felt we had got a good deal.
I kept the best for last.
One of Pádraig’s best friends, Andrew, sent this around during the week. – PLEASE READ
Dear friends and supporters of Pádraig
The time has come
Seo muid réidh!
10 years on from Pádraig’s accident and 3 years on from the original planned date, We will finally be completing the hike up Croagh Patrick in aid of Pádraig on Saturday 06 May!
Everyone is welcome to come along, if you previously planned on doing the hike or if you’ve a new friend / partner that would like to come along too. The more the merrier!
The plan is just like before – We will hike at 11am on Saturday 06 May. A mini-bus/lifts will take people from Westport town out to the foot of the mountain and back after the post-hike music and pints session in Campbells, with Pádraig and family!
One change this time around is that we are NOT ORGANISING ACCOMMODATION for everyone. Westport town and district has a massive amount of airbnb, bnb and hotel accommodation, so please note that you do need to book your own place (though we will be organising a bus from town out to the mountain).
If you plan on doing the hike, please fill in this form by Sunday so as to help with our planning. Similarly, if you want to bring a new friend / partner etc. this time, please forward them this form and get them to fill it in too. https://forms.gle/invx1Mcpgo3S3Mv99 . If you are not free to do the hike, simply ignore the form.
Finally, Oisín managed to get our original fundraising page back up and running (well done, folks, you raised over 18k without so much as taking a step, the last time!). So that means that all of your individual fundraising pages that are linked to the central event (Cruach Phádraig do Phádraig) are active again too. Obviously, you’ve probably already raised quite a bit for this event and we understand that we are unlikely to raise a massive additional amount, but if you would like to spread the word again and get further donations, please do! We will be doing a fundraising drive in the immediate run-up and during the event itself. If you want to set up a new page / if you have a friend that is now going to do the hike, you or they can easily set up an individual page that will feed into the main event’s pot by clicking on this link and clicking on the orange “start fundraising” button. Pádraig’s needs and expenses are as urgent as ever, so every cent is a great help. https://www.idonate.ie/event/cruachphadraig
Rather than choke up people’s notifications, please keep any queries to direct messages to me etc. I’ll be setting up a new (admin-comment-only, dont worry!) whatsapp group for this resurrected challenge in the coming days, when I know who is doing it! Grá Mór agus Beirígí bua!
Please fill in the form today if you intend to join to allow for the best possible planning.
If you cannot do it today, please do it as soon as possible.