Two local lads have set themselves a mammoth challenge to walk the Kerry Way this month, and it's all for a brilliant cause.
However, they've also had to contend with the incredible difficulties of Storm Ellen on their trek this week.
From thunder and lightning storm to torrential rain and high winds arriving with Storm Ellen, the weather has not been kind to them in parts of the hike, but to their credit, they say they are determined to finish the trail loop back to Killarney.
James Reenan and Oisin Morin - both 17-years-old - are best pals from their days as pupils at CBS national school here in Dundalk.
While James still lives in Knockbridge, Oisiin moved to Co Cork with his family some years back. However, they've maintained a close friendship throughout.
Just last year, in July 2019, when James and Oisin were still only 16 they completed the Wicklow Way hike (127km from South Dublin to Co Carlow) over six days and enjoyed the experience so much they decided to take on this year's challenge of completing the Kerry Way trail (200km+) for charity to raise funds for LauraLynn - Irelands Children's Hospice.
This challenge involves good navigation skills and carrying all food, water and hiking/camping equipment throughout the hike.
They were selected to participate in the Gaisce - The President's Award - Defence Force Challenge June 2019. They learned a lot of skills which they now put into good use on their hiking trips and this will be very helpful when doing Ireland's longest signposted hike trail which goes through the Macgillycuddy's Reeks Ireland's highest mountain range.
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