And a local hero is exactly what the children of a North Cork school can call on as they endeavour to raise cash for pupils with autism.
Liscarroll National School pupils are hoping to raise thousands of euro for the adjoining Lios Cúram — the fort of care and nurture — to enhance education for children with the condition.
Part of the fundraising campaign will involve local man Thomas Fehan attempting to finish the Ironman triathlon in Bolton, England, on July 22.
For Thomas, whose son Ben was diagnosed with autism two years ago, it will be his first Ironman contest.
“I started training for it last February. Last Saturday I was up at 5am and did seven hours training. I’m confident I’ll complete it.”
What lies ahead would be daunting to most people — a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile cycle and a 26.2-mile run, which all have to be completed within 17 hours.
Liscarroll NS principal Anne Maria Bourke, who is the fundraising campaign director, said the money raised would go toward essential occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, play therapy, and music therapy at Lios Cúram.
“Such therapeutic interventions are a prerequisite for learning in these children and are very costly.
“They also require specialised software, IT equipment and classroom resources to meet their communication and educational needs.
“We acknowledge that cash is scarce on the ground these times, but we want the public to look favourably on this worthy cause.
“Huge appreciation goes to Thomas Fehan for offering to participate in the Ironman challenge to raise funds for Lios Cúram.”
Lios Cúram has two classes for children with autism and intends to introduce a third next September.