'I wanted to do one mad thing in my life': Cork granny takes to skies for charity

Despite a fear of heights, the sky’s the limit for Margaret O’Donovan from West Cork.

Paul Finn, chair, Courtmacsherry RNLI Fundraising Committee, Margaret O'Donovan, and Brian Whelton, chair, Courtmacsherry Rowing Club.

The mother of six celebrated her 60th birthday this year but she is planning a skydive to aid her two favourite groups, Courtmacsherry RNLI and Courtmacsherry Rowing Club.

“I wanted to do one mad thing in my life and this is it,” she said of her planned September 8 dare-devil skydive.

Margaret, who lives in the village, first thought of the idea several years ago but kept it a secret until two years ago, when she told the youngest of her six children, Aoife.

“She nearly collapsed when I told her, then I informed the rest of my family and for my 60th birthday last January, they gave me a voucher so I have to do it now,” said Margaret.

“Yes, I’m very conservative really, but I always wanted to do something for the lifeboat and I also feel that the rowing club do such magnificent work and provide so much for the young people.

“I just wanted to make this a joint fundraiser.”

Weather permitting, she will take to the sky for her dive at the Irish Parachute Club in Clonbullogue, Co Offaly.

Brian Whelton, chairman of the Courtmacsherry Rowing Club which is raising funds to build a €400,000 clubhouse in the harbour village, said: “We are thrilled that another member of the public has stepped up to be a fundraiser for the building project and obviously we are delighted.”

So far, the rowing club has raised €40,000.

Meanwhile, Paul Finn, chairman of the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat fundraising committee, said: “While we have many fundraising events each year, this is a great and welcome addition and is certainly something different.”

The main fundraiser for the Courtmacsherry RNLI is the Great Wild Atlantic Marathon Walk in August.

Margaret, meanwhile, added: “I don’t particularly like flying and I definitely don’t like heights, this is a one-off.”

Sponsorship cards will be available and the public can make donations to Margaret or at gofundme.com/margaretskydive.

After the skydive, her plan is to “go back under a stone and lead a quiet life”.

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