He’s been hailed a hero and inspired others on the pitch over the years but yesterday, Ireland and Munster star Peter O’Mahony said Oliver Lynch is the hero as the pair walked the hallowed turf of a famous rugby ground.
O’Mahony, who has just returned to training with the Munster squad, joined Oliver, eight, for his latest 100-metre daily walk on the field at Musgrave Park.
Oliver, from Ballincollig in Cork, has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and has been walking 100-metres in his walking frame every day since May 16 to raise money for three charities that help him.
In the early days, it was taking him 40-minutes to complete his session but his strength and stamina grew over the last 40-days and he's now walking longer distances and faster.
Oliver’s guts and determination touched hearts around the country and donations poured in.
He has already raised around €30,000 for Enable Ireland, the CUH Charity and Dogs for the Disabled, a charity close to O’Mahony’s heart.
He was joined for his 40th walk yesterday by Nicky Comyn, the president of the IRFU and by representatives of the three charities.
And Oliver announced that he will walk his last 100-metres for charity outside his house on Friday week - where it all started back in mid-May.
Oliver was inspired to take on the daily walk challenge during lockdown.
A student of Gaelscoil Uí Riordáin in Ballincollig, he became frustrated that he couldn't join his twin brother, Reuben, and their big sister, Caoimhe, in their couch-to-5k challenge so he set himself an ambitious exercise target to walk 5,000-metres, by completing 100-metres a day in his garden, and up and down the street outside their home.
As donations poured in, he doubled his steps target and kept going in the hope that donations.
His mum, Alison, said they never in their wildest dreams expecting to raise so much money.
"I remember when we set the fundraising target of €5,000 I thought maybe it was too high and we should aim for €1,000," she said.
"But people have been incredible and the support has been amazing.
"The money will make a difference to the three charities and Oliver has become stronger and faster so it's a win-win situation for everyone."
Earlier this month, President Michael D Higgins said he has been greatly impressed by Oliver’s “courageous and generous” fundraising for the charities which have played such an important part of his life.
In a personal letter delivered to Oliver’s home, the President said: “As President of Ireland, it makes me very proud to hear of young people like you who are kind, thoughtful and determined to do good for others.
“There can be no doubt that you are one of life’s great heroes. I send you my best wishes and every success with your continued endeavours.”
You can still donate to Oliver’s ‘I’m going to walk 5000 more’ fundraising drive on GoFundMe.