Fionn O’Loughlin at the top of Croghan Hill.

Fionn wanted to 'help the people who live on the paths'

Fionnuala O’Loughlin gave her son Fionn a choice of charities when they decided at the start of February that they would do a fundraising challenge together.

The five-year-old didn’t need a list though, and told his mother: "I want to do it for the people who live on the paths."

That mission being clear, the duo decided they would climb Croghan Hill, which is exactly 5k from their house in Daingean, each day of the month.

"So we climbed Croghan Hill every day in February, in every possible weather condition – snow, wind rain," Fionnuala said.

She said it was a great achievement for a five-year-old, as at that age children can sometimes dig their heels in and give up, but "he never complained one day, he just got up and did it every day".

There are various routes up the hill and some days "we ran up, in the storm, and he’s quite fast," but mostly they took the direct, steep way, and the climb typically took around half an hour.

"Because he wanted to give to the homeless, I decided it’s better to give to a local charity – Midlands Simon. I was just talking to them and they’re preparing to open a new service to accommodate 16 people in Tullamore, so it’s great timing," said Fionnuala.

She is not sure why Fionn wanted to help the homeless. "I suppose he likes the comfort of his own bed! And we talk about people being sick and things like that, and it always stuck in his head that people do have to sleep outside.

"The day there was a storm and the bottom of the hill he said ‘people had better give me more for them for doing it today’, as in, he really felt for how hard the homeless people have it."

Fionn is a pupil at Daingean NS and he has already raised more than €700 for Midlands Simon, mostly via donations from friends and family.

Anyone who would like to acknowledge Fionn’s achievement and donate to the cause can do so at