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Saturday, 9th September 2017

From Belfast to Dublin on foot for kids with special needs


Richie O'Leary and Alan Shanley rest their weary feet on arrival at the City North Hotel where they stopped off for the night during their walk from Belfast to Dublin in aid of Blossom Ireland. Photo: Paul Connor.

Richie O’Leary, supported by BT Ireland is walking 175km from Belfast to Dublin to raise funds for Blossom Ireland. Richie’s daughter Amy has special needs and attends Blossom Ireland camps and Richie wants to ensure that more children like Amy can enjoy the Blossom camps experience.

“We were thrilled when Richie told us he would take on this mammoth walk for us” said Auveen Bell, CEO and co-founder of Blossom Ireland,  “175km over four days is the equivalent of one marathon per day. 

Richie works for BT Ireland who have been hugely supportive of the work Blossom do.  All funds raised will go towards providing camps and programmes for children with special needs.

Blossom Ireland was established in 2010 by two mums passionate in the belief that their sons with special needs deserve the same opportunities as all children. 

The organisation has grown from its initial offering of a few weeks of services in the summer to a year round programme of holiday and life skills programmes for children and teens with special needs from 8 – 18 years of age.  

Their work has received awards from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and has been independently assessed by a team from Trinity College Dublin.

For more information on all of the services that Blossom Ireland provides for children and teens with intellectual disabilities go to

Three year old Sophia Davis was at City North Hotel last week to welcome Richie O'Leary at the end of day two of his Belfast to Dublin walk in aid of Blossom Ireland. Photo: Paul Connor.

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