Some of the participants resting after climbing to the summit of Mount Brandon for a fundraising event on 25/09/2010 organised by Jeaici O Muircheartaigh in memory of Joe O Connor.
Jeaici O Muircheartaigh was born in April 1958, and was raised in Bothár at the foot of Mount Brandon on the Dingle peninsula. Family values played a major part in his up-bringing, where he was taught the importance in supporting his community and in respecting his Irish culture. He attended Naomh Breandán national school were Irish was his spoken language until the age of 12yrs. His secondary education continued in Dingle CBS.In 1976 at the age of 18yrs, Jeaici was challenged with a life threatening illness, Tuberculoses and an underlying contra-indication of Pleurisy. He spent a considerable length of time in St Catherine’s hospital Tralee and Sarsfield Court Cork. Within that period he experienced and witnessed many patients dying with cancer and also others dying from drink/drugs related diseases. This impacted greatly on him and when the day arrived when he was released from the care of the hospital, he realised how lucky he was to be still alive. His perspective on life changed, as did his attitude, thoughts and opinions. He looked toward the good things life had to offer and with a better understanding of people; he could see that within everyone was a unique individual waiting to be discovered. He decided he would become more active in his community and gave his services on a voluntary basis. Early 2001 Jeaici went on his first charity walk to Portugal with a group of 45 others, in aid of Cancer Research. Through his participation, observance and the use of his listening skills he began to understand how cancer deeply affects the lives of people, and how important fundraising was as a means of helping in the continued research of finding a cure. After some reflection he decided on his return home he would organise a similar walk. In October 2001 The Suilóid Leighis - Walk for the Cure was officially launched by the founder and director Jeaici O Muircheartaig. GAA sporting celebrities Michael O Muircheartaig and Dara Cinneide got the walk off to a flying start. A target was set of 10,000 euro and much to Jeaicis’ delight over 17,000 euro was raised for Cancer Research. By the year 2006 the Mount Brandon walk had gone from strength to strength raising roughly between 70,000 - 80,000 euro.Such was the success that Jeaici chose to dedicate the following years to the memory of those who had died and had been associated with the walk. The community of Corca Dhuibhne, The Media, The GAA, Tommy Griffin as well as RTE news readers Siún Nic Gearailt and Eileen Whelan have been very supportive. Overall the last eight years has seen participation increase from 50 in 2001 to 1,200 in 2009. Jeaici is working toward making 2011, the tenth year of The Suilóid Leighis - Walk for the Cure a mega success.His set target is 250,000 euro, and to date a whopping 234,000 euro has been raised for Cancer Research. His vision for the future is to utilise funds toward the building of a Cancer Information & Support Centre in the Kerry region. This is presently at research level and more information on this plan will be available at a later date. Through the years this yearly event has not only brought an influx of visitors from all over Ireland, England, Europe and USA to the beautiful Mount Brandon, but also a steady flow of tourism to the town of Dingle and to the surrounding areas of West Kerry.Jeaici has availed of every possible means as a way of promoting and developing The Suilóid Leighis - Walk for the Cure, while at the same time showing his passion and love for the community and parish he was born and raised in - Paroiste na Mordhach.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.