‘Sandra’s Run’ is an annual charity motor bike ride in south west Donegal held on the first Saturday in July each year.
This year it will be on SATURDAY 1st JULY.
The organisers, Jim and Rosaleen Boyle of Killybegs, County Donegal, the parents of Sandra after whom the event is named, started ‘Sandra’s Motorcycle Run’ in honour of their daughter Sandra who sadly passed away on the 21st of May 1991 after a battle with leukaemia. It was the eve of her 18th birthday.
Jim and Rosaleen, bikers themselves, gather other bikers from all over the world to raise money for various hospitals and charities.
Last year ‘Sandra’s Run’ raised over €26,000 for Temple Street Childrens Hosptial (Dublin). In previous years ‘Sandra’s Run’ has raised money for Letterkenny University Hospital and Our Lady’s Childrens Hospital, Crumlin.
Over the years ‘Sandra’s Run’ has raised well in excess of a quarter of a million euro.
In its first year 14 bikes took part and last year this had risen to 290 bikes. For anyone who has been in the area on the day of ‘Sandra’s Run’ they can’t fail but be impressed with the number of bikes and vast array of different makes and models of bikes too.
Added to that, we see bushes, trees, fences, seats, street lights and buildings bedecked with teddies and other stuffed toys and dolls. Rosaleen Boyle sends out an appeal to anyone reading this from anywhere on the course to tie soft toys and dolls to their fences and buildings.
Do you live along the route of 'Sandra's Run'?
If you do, Jim and Rosaleen send out a request to you: please tie teddy bears, dolls or other soft toys to your fencing and walls to show support for Sandra's Run.
KILLYBEGS , ARDARA, CROLLY, BLOODY FORELAND, GLENTIES, DUNGLOE, ARDAGHEY
This year funds are being raised for Muscular Dystrophy Ireland.
Unfortunately Jim and Rosaleens other daughter, Dianne, has been diagnosed with a rare muscular condition and three of their (adult) nephews (brothers) are each confined to wheelchairs. So in their inimitable way, Jim and Rosaleen are pouring their energies into raising both awareness and much needed research funds into Muscular Dystrophy Ireland. Hence this years cause. (See a recent post, below here, by Jim and Rosaleen explaining further).
So please come along for a great family day out to see and support this worthy cause. And if you have any biker friends, get them to take the ride too.
Please share this post on any media platforms you are on to pass the word around and make it the biggest and best ‘Sandra’s Run’ to date.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A BIKE RIDE NOT A RACE. NO SPEEDING OR CARELESS DRIVING.
‘SANDRA’S RUN’ DETAILS
FEE FOR BIKER: €20
FEE FOR PILLION: €10
Entries taken in Killybegs from 9.30 am on the morning of the run
OTHER DONATIONS: If you wish to donate to the fund contact Jim 087-2310269 or
ENTRIES: Taken in Killybegs from 9.30 am before the run begins
START: The Diamond, Killybegs 11.30 am
MOVING ON TO: Ardara, Narin, Dungloe
LUNCH BREAK: DUNGLOE 1 pm
Lunch(and dinner later) free for bikers and helpers
MOVING ON TO: Annagry, Crolly (petrol stop only), Bloody Foreland, Glenties (via Dungloe), Ardara, Ardaghey
FINISH UP: Killybegs
(Free dinner at the Tara Hotel for those with arm bands only).
MUSIC & DANCING IN THE TARA HOTEL FROM 10pm ~everyone welcome.
Breakdown van (Seamus) 087-1835007
Paramedic (Mick) 086-8090156
The day after 'Sandra's Run' there is a boat trip where all monies taken in fares go into the fundraiser too. Details can be checked on their website page here: SANDRA'S RUN BOAT TRIP
Don't forget to tweet, share, like this blog post to bring it to as many people as we can to help raise lots of money for Sandra's Run and Muscular Dystrophy Ireland. (Tweet adding @MDI_Ireland)
This Sunday, the 24th of July 2016, parents and friends will take part in the Extreme Gateway Mud Run (as part of The Extreme Gateway to Hell Mud Run) to raise funds so that more children with autism in the county can reap the benefits of reflexology.
The woman who started this in Donegal, June Doherty, said:
“With this fundraiser we want to do a parent's workshop so for the other 3 weeks the child can still get reflexology at home. The parents can also do it on their other children so everyone gets the benefits. It started last June when I met Eimear at a Carers Day. I was under a lot of stress at the time and the reflexology really helped me so I started Aisling (her child with Aspergers) doing it to help with sleeping. Then thought if it works for Aisling, will it work for others?. So, nearly a year on, 30 kids come once a month for reflexology and the benefits are unbelievable. A couple of kids are off their anxiety meds because of it. When we started, The Autism Family Support Group subsidised the first two sessions. We try to do a couple of fundraisers a year to help parents with costs as we don't have any money coming from anywhere else.”
To join them on this fun mud run and raise some much needed cash for these children, you can pay at the gate a fee of €30.
Any further details required ring: 0879080784/ 0860877602
Visitors to the south and south west area of Donegal at the moment are probably wondering why all the teddy bears attached to fences, trees, lampposts etc.
Well they are part of the annual ‘Sandra’s Run’, named after local girl Sandra Boyle.
Sandra Boyle was the daughter of Rosaleen and Jim Boyle. She developed leukaemia as a young teen and battled it bravely for three years. During that three years Sandra did two mini marathons, the first she walked it and the second she was pushed in her wheelchair by her father, Jim. Sandra sadly died on the 21st of May 1991 just one day short of her 18th birthday.
Jim and Rosaleen had always been into motorbike and raising money for charity (even before Sandra became ill) and so in 2005 they launched ‘Sandra’s Run’. That first year 14 bikers took part and last year that number had increased to 270 bikers!
The teddy bears along the route symbolise the sick children in hospitals and the children who lost their battle and are now angels.
Sandra’s Run has raised money for Crumlin Hospital in the past and this year they money raised will go to Temple Street Children’s University Hospital Foundations ( templestreet.ie ).
All bikers are welcome to join in the run (details of how to enter below).
And for those of us who don’t take part in the actual run, seeing it is wonderful so if you are along the route give the bikers a cheer and enjoy the day and possibly the evening back in Killybegs where there will be music and dancing.
Her mother, Rosaleen, told us:
“Sandra was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 1988 & spent a long spell in Matter hospital in Dublin. During her illnesses her Dad and I wheeled her in marathon in Dublin for Crumlin Hospital funds twice.
She had a great outlook on life and learned to drive the car and kept all her friends on a positive attitude.
She had her bone marrow extradition in 1990 to save for further treatment but in 1991 she took a relapse and died the day before her 18th birthday on the 21st of May 1991.
I did the marathon for 17 years in her memory for Crumlin Hospital and then 11 years ago we started the Sandra’s Motorcycle Run.
We have raised €25000 and we put TVs and computers in Crumlin also tosca machine in Letterkenny & rehab bicycle & computer stuff for people suffering from stroke & disability.
We were honoured to have her as a daughter and sister to Dianne and Michael and we are delighted to have met so many good people on the path of Sandra’s Run.
We are looking forward to seeing and meeting up with the bikers and friends and helpers at the weekend.”
The Diamond, Killybegs
11.30 am Saturday 2nd July 2016
(make sure your bike is refuelled and you have registered before this time).
~ Malinbeg (Silver Strand) ~ 15 min break
~ Ardara ~ petrol stop at the TEXACO station
~ Donegal Town (via Ardaghey)
~ Rossnowlagh ~ Lunch stop at the Sandhouse Hotel
~ Bundoran (travel via the bypass and enter Bundoran from the Sligo end) ~ 30 min stop
~ Killybegs (FINISH)
Entries are €20 per biker and €5 per pillion. Entries are taken in Killybegs from 10am to 11.30am on the day of the run.
Lunch (Sandhouse Hotel, Rosnowlagh) and dinner (Tara Hotel, Killybegs) is free for the bikers and helpers. Those who are entitled to the free meals must show their armband.
Music and dancing for all in the Tara Hotel from 9.30pm.
NO SPEEDING OR CARELESS DRIVING PLEASE
PHOTOS OF SANDRA BOYLE (kindly submitted by her mother Rosaleen)
The weather in Donegal has been glorious recently. Blue skies, sunshine and gentle balmy breezes.
Yesterday, sitting on the soft sands of Fintra beach, the sun on my face and the sound of the sea lapping gently on the shoreline, I thought to myself "this really is my own little paradise". And just when I thought it couldn't get better ... it did!
Gazing out to sea I spotted the very distinctive fins of a pod of dolphins!
Of course excitement set in instantly and nudging my husband from his thoughts I yelled: "DOLPHINS!".
Up we got to get right down to the shoreline to get that bit closer and then next half hour or so (I lost track of time), we watched and photographed the dolphins. They were quite a bit out from the shore but hey, they were there and that is all that mattered!
Anyone who knows me, or is familiar with my blog posts, will know that I spend a lot of time searching for these beautiful creatures and to have them out in front of me, playing and swimming about was fabulous.
The only fly in the ointment was watching some people on a speedboat trying to get closer to them. Part of me was jealous I have to admit but the overriding thought was how stupidly they were behaving! This is calving season and when a dolphin, like any animal, has young around, they want to protect them and we must always remember these are wild animals and strong and dangerous if annoyed. And yet two of the people from the boat thought it a good idea to get in the water and try to get up close with the dolphins! Luckily for them the dolphins didn't bother them. Perhaps there were no calves yet. But that minor annoyance aside, it was glorious to stand for a time in the warmth of the sun watching the dolphins.
Below is a gallery of some of the photos I took. They are not brilliant I have to admit: the dolphins were quite a way from the shoreline and are zoomed in but I hope they give some pleasure to fellow dolphin lovers.
I hope I never get over the thrill of seeing dolphins!
And here is the beautiful Fintra beach which is just outside Killybegs. Fintra has again been awarded Blue Flag status, just one of the thirteen Donegal beaches so awarded making Donegal once again, the county with the most Blue Flag beaches in Ireland.
Michelle (pictured here just to the right of 'Gary'), an avid fan of Take That since she was around 5 years of age and later a Gary Barlow fan, REALLY wants Gary to come to her 30th birthday party in Glenties, County Donegal on the 30th of July.
WHO IS MICHELLE?
In her own words:
"I'm a mother of two I work 5 days a week with adults with intellectual disabilities I'm married to martin 3 yrs in August. So I'd say 1991 a fan since I always loved them ever since when they broke up I was sick from crying for well over a week. I love everything about Gary Barlow his manner, his relationship with his wife and kids, his music has helped me through all the ups and downs in my life and he is such a talented song writer he's fit too... I would love nothing more if he sang for me in Kennedy's bar Glenties July 30th my real birthday is August the 4th. I never got a meet and greet while going to concerts I went to the take that circus tour in croke park 2009,take that progress tour 2011 i was 7months pregnant with Jayden in croke park, Gary barlow since I saw you last tour in the 3 arena dublin 2014 I was 7months pregnant with Sienna and finally that that III tour 2015 in the 3 arena. We also went to letterkenny cinema June 19 2015 to watch them live with the III tour."
Today we took photos of Michelle and her pals and also did a video imploring Gary to make her birthday wish come true.
Here is the video and we will be adding all the extra help she is getting here too. We believe that this weekend our own Daniel O'Donnell and Noel Cunningham are doing something for her appeal and of course, we will be adding that here too.
Please tweet and facebook this post to get as much support for Michelle as we can ... and to GET GARY TO GLENTIES!!! Michelle's twitter account is @GaryToTheParty and Gary Barlow's is @GaryBarlow so please tag them.
So now watch the video (click the link below), sing along AND GET BEHIND MICHELLE TO GET GARY TO THE PARTY!
The Irish TV and radio presenter Noel Cunningham has now joined in helping get Gary to the party:
At the weekend we decided to check out the boardwalk at Aughadahore near Carrigart and Glen village. A number of people had told me it was great and worth a visit and I found they weren’t wrong.
The weather had been changeable all morning but when we arrived the sun was shining and the sky was blue with just a few fluffy clouds. Which was lovely from inside the car. Getting out of the car however, we found it was a different story! Very, very breezy and the wind was bitingly cold. On went the jackets (and a woolly hat on me) and off we went.
The boardwalk is very well made and winds its way through sandy dunes to the magnificent horseshoe-shaped Tramore beach. It is also wide enough that people can pass each other without anyone having to stand aside.
Along the way there are viewing points where walkers can stop off and take in the scenery including great views of Muckish mountain across the water. There are seating areas in a couple of them but sadly none (yet?) further along the boardwalk. Lazy walkers, like me, might appreciate a seat but as the boardwalk is only 1km long they aren’t really necessary.
At the end of the boardwalk you can step off it and straight on to Tramore beach.
The sandy beach is about 7km long so for people who want a long walk, it is there for the taking. Along the beach you can enjoy views back to Muckish and across to Trabeg (the smaller beach that runs alongside the village of Downings).
One thing I noticed about Mamore beach is the abundance of shells there. Many beaches I go to are not as rich in shells as is this one. However, the sand is a bit softer so quite arduous to walk at any pace on. Probably good for toning the legs though.
We walked about 2km along the beach enjoying the sounds of the seabirds and the Atlantic rolling in to the shore.
Once back on the boardwalk and back to the start I noticed the building at the entrance serves tea/coffee and cakes. Fortunately it was still closed so no cakes were damaged in the making of this blog post.
TO GET THERE:
From Carrigart on the road to Glen you come to a fork in the road. The road to the left takes you to Glen village and the road to the right takes you to Lackagh Bridge and on to Creeslough. Take the road to the right and a little way along it you will come to the entrance to Cuan na Ri, a holiday resort. Drive through the large gates and you will come to a carpark. There you can park up and then walk over to the small green gate to the right of the building there and that takes you straight to the boardwalk.
Exciting times for Donegal when the Venture Offshore Cup Race 2016 races into Killybegs. They arrive in Killybegs on Thursday the 16th of June on Leg 5 of the race from Galway and leave on Friday the 17th of June for Belfast with the leading boats expected around noon.
As the boats can’t race into Killybegs harbour, the Venture Offshore Cup organisers have added an extra Leg of the race especially for Donegal and this will take the racing boats past Killybegs and out to Muckross Head thereby affording spectators a chance to see the boats racing past in their full glory.
They then make their way into Killybegs harbour and the brand new marina there to board up for the night of festivities ahead.
Killybegs will have on-street entertainment for the boat crews and the many visitors expected in Killybegs that day to savour the excitement and join in the festivities planned.
Muckross Head, County Donegal
Boat photos by kind courtesy of Aidan Foley, Event Director, VENTURE CUP
Thursday, 16th June 2016 (Leg 5) Galway to Killybegs, County Donegal
Friday, 17th June 2016 (Leg 6) Leaves Killybegs, County Donegal for Belfast
The Venture website: http://www.ventureoffshorecup.com/
Their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VentureOffshoreCup/
More about Killybegs and more photos of the town http://www.welovedonegal.com/killybegs.html
Killybegs Tourist Office: http://www.killybegs.ie/
'GUTZ' COMES TO LETTERKENNY
'Gutz', an original musical written by David Oliver, comes to An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny this weekend. The production includes a 10 piece live band, twenty five original songs, and a large cast of over 40, all of whom come from Donegal, Tyrone or Derry.
'Gutz' tells of the internship of a young woman called Casey Carson and her journey in New York City as she battles work, life pressures and sexism in the workplace. It is a musical for today with something for all to enjoy.
The show has already sold out at the Alley Theatre in Strabane so book your tickets for this weekend in Letterkenny via any of the links below. (Friday & Saturday, 15th & 16th April, at 8pm). On the Saturday night there is an after show party in the Orchard Inn, Letterkenny where guests will be entertained by the Gutz In House Band.
Following the production in Letterkenny, Gutz will be at the Millennium Forum, Derry on Friday 13th and Saturday the 14th of May at 7.30pm.
"These four begin their internship with the promise that one will be offered a full time position as an associate. This year in the life of an intern creates stresses ...
Casey Carson is a strong, fiercely independent, highly intelligent and very attractive 23 year old from Boise, Idaho. As she works within the ranks of Davis Power Inc, she ambitiously envisages an eventual position within New York City's business elite. In the cosmopolitan hotbed of a 21st century city, where success sees no colour or gender, Casey has left her quaint hometown at just the right time - or has she?
'Gutz' is an explosive, highly charged musical exploration of the seductive, hedonistic and deceptive nature of life in a metropolis, where the surface of 'progress' and 'yes we can' idealism hides the harsh reality that the more things change the more they stay the same. We meet a host of characters consumed with power, ambition and ego, who all, in some way, will have to face the truth behind the hollow mask of the neon lights. The themes of love, harassment, infidelity and personal struggle intertwine to reveal a story reflective of the times we now live in."
TO BOOK TICKETS:
Or telephone An Grianan on 074 9120777 (from outside the Republic 00353 74 9120777).
Read more about the composer of Gutz, David Oliver, and his other works on his website: http://www.davidoliver.info/index.html
It is being widely mooted around the internet today that part of the new Star Wars film (Star Wars: Episode VIII) will use Ireland's most northerly point, Malin Head in County Donegal, as one of its filming locations.
According to The Irish Times, Star Wars scouts visited the area last October and they go on to report that film crews working with Lucasfilm have already booked out bed & breakasts and holiday rental homes there.
It is also being reported that Malin Head will be used as a location for Luke Skywalker's hideout but this is yet to be confirmed. Perhaps if it is, the actor who plays him, Mark Hamill, will get the chance to visit a Donegal family who are distant relatives of his (via the Hamill name).
Malin Head would make a fabulous location to film the new Star Wars film. The scenery there is stunning and although there are small towns and villages dotted about, there are too vast tracts of land with nothing but varying landscapes: from high rocky terrain to green valleys and huge sandy beaches to amazing rocky coastline.
In the words of Darth Vader, "“We would be honoured if you would join us.”
From The Irish Times:
“The makers of Stars Wars blockbusters are to return to Ireland once again after deciding to shoot scenes for the new movie in Co Donegal.
Location scouts secretly visited Ireland’s most northerly point at Malin Head last October.
Minister of State at the Department of Arts Joe McHugh confirmed he was aware that negotiations are at an advanced stage for filming scenes in the area.
“There are still a few things to be sorted with the department including foreshore licenses but I’m confident that will be taken care of,” said Mr McHugh
“This will be a massive opportunity to promote the area globally and . . . I would welcome it ....”
The latest instalment of the Stars Wars story Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the world’s highest grossing movie, was partially filmed on the Kerry island of Skellig Michael.
The cast and crew are filming the first scenes of Episode VIII in Kerry.
Filming in Co Donegal is expected to last more than a month.
But the tourism spin-offs from the locations to be included in the latest Star Wars epic are expected to be huge.
Already a number of bed and breakfasts and rental homes in the Malin Head area have been booked out by film crews working with Lucasfilm.”
And from entertainment.ie:
“Although much was made of Skellig Michael's prominence in The Force Awakens, it looks like another locale in Ireland will be joining the Star Wars universe.
It's been reported by local newspapers that Malin Head in Donegal is being scouted as a filming location for Star Wars: Episode VIII by Lucasfilm. The follow-up to the global smash, The Force Awakens, is already filming currently in Croatia and has turned the historical district of Dubrovnik into a neon-drenched cityscape.
It's understood that a number of hotels and B&Bs have been block-booked for the month of May, with reports suggesting that extras are due to be cast for scenes filmed in Malin Head. It's already been confirmed that Skellig Michael will feature prominently in Episode VIII, as will Ceann Sibeal.
What's more, a mock-up of Skellig Michael's distinctive stone-huts have been sighted at Pinewood Studios by eagle-eyed fans. It's speculated that Malin Head will be filmed as a location for Luke Skywalker's as-yet unnamed hideout, however nothing's been confirmed as of yet.”
Our on-going efforts to get up close and personal with the dolphins of Donegal continued with my booking a holiday apartment overlooking the part of the ocean they are most often seen in.
One of the evenings there we decided to drive the short distance up to Banba’s Crown (called locally ‘the Head’) at Malin Head, Ireland’s most northerly point.
I didn’t expect there to be other people up there at that time of the evening but I was wrong. There were quite a few cars already there by the time we arrived.
The sunset from the height at Banba’s Crown, with the vast open ocean before you, is sensational. Nothing but golden sun shimmering across the Atlantic before you and the tower behind bathed in the warm glow giving it a soft, sand like colour.
The people from the cars had clearly wandered around the Head as I could see very few people and my husband and I wandered separately taking our photographs from various points.
Later I came upon a couple with whom I got chatting. They were from Derry and own a holiday cottage nearby. They had their bottle of wine with them to watch the sunset, a thing they do each time they arrive to celebrate the start of their time in Donegal.
As we chatted a call went up somewhere on the Head “dolphins!”.
The pod was passing by the Head! We all watched for a moment as they passed quickly by and then, as one, everyone ran to their cars and a mad dash down the now darkening narrow bendy road began, chasing the pod over to Portmor to see if they came in to frolick.
On the way down and back on the main road between the Head and the port, the car in front of us (the Derry couples’ car) was stopped chatting with some firemen in their fire engine (who were probably wondering where the stream of traffic was coming from and going to). I took the opportunity to lean back out of the passenger seat to capture a photograph of the outline of the tower at the head, blacked out with the sun setting beyond it.
Later the guy from Derry was telling us that he was telling the firemen what the chase was about, they had indeed been wondering what the string of cars at that time of night was all about in such a quiet location. It was quite funny to see the firemen all leaning to the side to try and spy the pod of dolphins going by over the sea to our right. I off course took a photograph as I had done earlier of the chimney fire they were coming back from.
So, all down to the port and out of the cars, up on to the heights there to look for the dolphins. But they just kept on swimming.
As one, once again, all into our cars and over to the ‘Wee House at Malin’, the next view point for we dolphin hunters.
At the Wee House there were already quite a few people gathered: some with cameras and some just watching the sunset and looking out for the dolphins. This is normally a very remote and quite spot so it was nice to have a bunch of people gathered there and there was a great sense of camaraderie.
Although we did see the pod passing, and they did a few leaps out of the water, they seemed to be in a hurry to go elsewhere and I only managed to get a few photographs of them. Again, too far away to be impressive (you can see one of the photographs of them below).
However I did get chatting to a man there ~ mainly about cameras and photographing dolphins. We introduced ourselves and it turns out I had seen his photographs before and greatly admired them. I told him about our efforts to get close to the dolphins and our boat trip the day before (more of which in another post). To go on the boat we had had to give up the plan to watch and photograph the Red Arrows who were putting on a display over Moville that day. Michael (the name of the man I was chatting to) had attended it. I told him I knew because I had heard on local radio about the fantastic photographs he had taken. He has now very kindly emailed them to me and I will add them to this blog shortly. And having seen them, I concur with the radio presenter ~ they are indeed fabulous.
Our Derry couple invited us to join them for drinks but we said we had to go to our apartment so we invited them there and had a lovely while having drinks, chatting and watching the sun go down from our balcony.
Later, it was decided a trip Ireland’s most northerly pub nearby was in order .
I will draw a veil over the end of the night when, after some great Guinness and a shortcut walk across the rocks and sand back to our apartment one of us ended up with a very sandy bottom and the realisation that Guinness does not make one a mountain goat!
See also: Ham Sandwiches And Talking Heads ... But No Dolphins!
We Love Donegal
We Love Donegal is a site dedicated to bring the beauty of County Donegal on the north west coast of Ireland to the world.