Father and son team take on 24-mile hike to support service for Irish people living with Dementia in Britain
Life & Style

Father and son team take on 24-mile hike to support service for Irish people living with Dementia in Britain

A FATHER and son pair will take on a gruelling challenge to raise money for an organisation which supports elderly Irish people living with dementia in Birmingham.

Mick O’Brien and his son Deaglan will tackle the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge next month to raise funds for the Birmingham Irish Association.

The duo plan to complete their task – a 24-mile hike which will take them across the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, which form part of the Pennine range in the Yorkshire Dales National Park - on October 21, and hope to reach the finish line in just 12 hours.

Mr O’Brien, whose parents hail from Galway and Mayo but met in Birmingham, where they were married and settled to start a family, claims learning about the work of the Birmingham Irish Association made him determined to do something to support the organisation.

“I've been aware of the Birmingham Irish Association for some years and their work within the community,” he told The Irish Post.

“In the summer a friend of mine directed me to their website, where I saw a video about a gentleman called Patrick Brogan who they had helped.

“Being honest, it made me - a grown man, nearly 50 years of age - shed a few tears.

“Over the coming weeks, I played that video over and over again and read some lovely comments on social media about how he touched people's hearts.

“I sat back one night and thought about how I grew up in our community and that I knew quite a few Patrick Brogans.

“So I emailed the Association and said I wanted to help and that I had the idea of walking the Three Peaks Challenge as a fundraiser.”

Mr O’Brien, a keen hiker who has already tackled Ben Nevis in Scotland and Snowdon in Wales, has previously walked ten miles of the Three Peaks Challenge with his sons Deaglan, 16, Fionn, 13 and Tommy, 10.

But it is Deaglan who will join him to complete the mammoth task next month, where they hope to raise more than £500 in the process.

“If we raised £500 plus, then I would be overjoyed,” Mr O’Brien said.

“As this would give some support to an organisation which helps many others.”

He added: “The drive to do this challenge, for Deaglan and I, ultimately is to help the Association with developing more Dementia support centres throughout Birmingham and to provide Dementia support champions to work with families and carers of those affected by this terrible disease.”

To support Mick and Deaglan O'Brien in their challenge click here