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27/10/2021

County Derry cleric to begin 80-day walking challenge

The popular priest is fundraising for the Simon Community.

DUNGIVEN: Cleric to begin 80-day walking challenge

Fr John Irwin

A County Derry priest will next week begin an ambitious walking challenge to raise money for a local homeless charity.

Fr John Irwin, a retired priest from Dungiven, is aiming to complete a walk every day for 80 days, with the finale coinciding with his 80th birthday on August 4.

Since his ordination in June 1966, Fr Irwin has spent the majority of his ministry within Derry, serving in Banagher, Limavady, Bellaghy and Dungiven, as well as Creggan in the city.

Proceeds from the walking challenge, branded 'Dungiven 80-80-80', will go towards the Simon Community, Northern Ireland's largest homeless charity.

The driving force behind Fr Irwin's idea is to provide support for 'those less fortunate' after being impacted by seeing struggling families within his parishes.

Walks will take place each day at 8pm from Fr Irwin's home on Station Road, Dungiven, and will vary between heading towards the Enterprise Centre and the Garvagh Road.

The popular priest has encouraged the public to join in with the challenge.

“It will help with your health and fitness levels whilst at the same time getting those endorphins raised with a bit of fresh air,” said Fr Irwin.

Donations towards the Simon Community can be made via the Dungiven 80-80-80 Just Giving page, or visiting their Facebook page.

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