We are the champions, my friends and we’ll keep on fighting till the end.
No time for losers ’cause we are the champions of the World.

Freddie Mercury

There are weeks you will never forget.

For me, last week was one of them.

Against all odds, I finished the Hamburg marathon (thank God for keeping hills out of that city), Pádraig’s friends are preparing their climb of Croagh Patrick after a three year delay because of COVID, and Pádraig played an important role in the commencement of a historic piece of legislation.

Let’s get to the last event first.

The first of the The Irish Times Images of the day last Wednesday, 26 April 2023, was a picture of the people championing the 2015 Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act being commenced that day. RTÉ’s Social Affairs Correspondent published an article, featuring Pádraig and other Champions.

It was a truly historic day and it had taken eight years after it had been approved by the Irish Parliament, the Dail, and signed by the President of Ireland, Uachtarán na hÉireann, to finally replace, or repeal, the Marriage of Lunatics Act 1811 and the Lunacy Regulation (Ireland) Act 1871.

Pádraig has been playing an important role in the promotion of the Act and the Decision Support Services (DSS), tasked with the promotion of the rights and interests of people who may need support with decision-making. They register decision support arrangements and supervise decision supporters.

He will be taking part in a publicity campaign, that will be seen by 90% of the people in Ireland. His voice will be heard on radio and TV advertisements, and in printed publications – in English and, of course, as Gaeilge. The day the act came into operation, he and his sister featured on all the TV news of RTÉ One.

Pádraig joined the other Champions, members of the DSS, the Taoiseach, and several Ministers, at a red carpet event in Smithfield’s Light House Cinema on Tuesday afternoon and at Government Buildings on Wednesday Morning.

Cruach Phádraig do Phádraig

Please join us

Saturday, 06 May 2023, 11am

Croagh Patrick

One of Pádraig’s best friends has been working on the big climb for Pádraig for the past weeks, supported by many others. He wrote:

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!

If you plan on doing the hike, please fill in this form as soon as possible 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. If you are not free to do the hike, simply ignore the form.

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.

Grá Mór agus Beirígí bua!

It is not too late to join more than 20 of Pádraig’s friends who so far have said they’ll be there. You won’t find a place more beautiful than the top of Croagh Patrick in spring and no better company to climb the mountain than Pádraig’s friends.

Pádraig will be joining his friends for post-hike music and pints session in Campbells.

Hamburg Marathon

Against all odds, I did finish the Marathon last Sunday.

There was an unbelievable buzz in the morning, getting on the underground, getting out of the underground and to the starting line was magic.

That magic disappeared for me around kilometre 30.

I had decided that I was going to finish without dying in the process.

Someone said to me that there is so much more fun with the slow runners than with the fast ones. And he was right.

I overheard a conversation between a German group where one lad said to a friend: “I mean, why would you finish in three hours if you have paid for six?” – Really, why would you?

There were many people along the route encouraging the runners who all had their names on their racing number. They had even told their kids what to do: call out the name of the runner and tell them that they’re looking great and should keep going. I don’t know how many kids shouted at me: Reinhard! Du siehst gut aus! Weiter so!

Even when I wasn’t running, but walking and trying to save my strength, or what was left of it, for the final effort, the Endspurt, on the red carpet. I felt like stopping and telling the kids: Hey, I know that I look pretty miserable and, to be honest, I would really prefer to run, not to continue going as slow as I am at the moment! I didn’t stop and, instead, smiled and waved at them as I passed.

My finishing time was my worst time ever, around 5:30hrs. But it was a finishing time. More than I had expected.

It was my first marathon in five years and, hopefully, not my last.

Now I know that I can do it. If I try a bit harder and prepare a bit better, I might even be able to do one with a few hills.

We are the champions, my friends, and we’ll keep on fighting till the end.