Students take long way round to gig for charity

TWO students have been given backstage passes to Slane by Lord Henry Mountcharles after completing a 200-mile charity walk.

Stephen Broekhuizen, aged 23, and Ruairí O’Hagan, 20, have raised more than €10,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland.

“It came up as a joke, saying that we’d walk to Slane. Then someone said we should do it for charity,” said Stephen Broekhuizen, from Blackrock, Co Cork.

With the help of friends, they organised a fashion show, a table quiz and a 70s disco. Stephen wrote to “every person on the planet” and got an incredible response.

The Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington sent a signed photo, as did Meg Ryan. And football players from clubs like Wolves, Middlesbrough and Cork City sent signed jerseys.

The two students, who are studying radio broadcasting at Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa in Cork, set off from City Hall in Cork 12 days ago. They often had to take hazardous country but the weather was fine. A hotel in Templemore, Co Tipperary, was short of standard rooms but put them up in the bridal suite for free instead.

The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland said the walk had been a fabulous effort.

Spokesman Ian McKeever said: “Walking 200 miles to a concert says a lot about the spirit and generosity of young people”.

The money will be used to finance the society’s building project, which is creating new centres across the country for the 33,000 people with dementia.

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