The President has hailed an inspirational seven-year-old boy from Cork for raising over €26,000 for three charities.
President Michael D Higgins said he has been greatly impressed by Oliver Lynch’s “courageous and generous” fundraising for three charities which have played such an important part of his life.
Oliver, from Ballincollig in Cork, has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and has been walking 100 metres in his walking frame every day for the last two weeks to raise money for three charities that help him.
In a personal letter delivered to Oliver’s home today, 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.
“I have no doubt that your parents, family and friends are equally proud of your great work on behalf of Enable Ireland, Dogs for the Disabled and the CUH Charity.
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.
The president signed off with his trademark ‘Beir beannacht’.
Oliver’s father, Kevin, said they were blown away by the letter.
“We were amazed that the President took the time to write. Oliver got the letter this morning and he’s been looking at it all day, with his mouth wide open,” he said.
During lockdown, Oliver, a student of Gaelscoil Uí Riordáin in Ballincollig, 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.
He has been using his walking frame to complete 100 metres a day in his garden, and up and down the street outside their home. Some days, it takes him 40 minutes to complete his session.
His guts and determination inspired hundreds of people to donate and money poured in, hitting his €5,000 fundraising mark in just a few days.
He then decided to double his steps target and keep going in the hope that donations keep rolling in. He is now close to raising an incredible €26,000.
Kevin said the public response has been overwhelming.
“People have been incredible. We set out with an ambitious target of €5,000. We never thought that we’d raise five times that. We have just been blown away,” he said.
You can donate to Oliver’s ‘I’m going to walk 5000 more’ fundraising drive on GoFundMe.