LEFT: Darren Goodman, Meath, Special Olympics Ireland Volunteer, Eoin Treanor, Regional Fundraising Coordinator (Leinster) at Special Olympics Ireland and Greg Commins, from Kilcormac.

Kilcormac abseiler says biggest fear was ‘climbing over the bar’

“The biggest fear for me was climbing over the bar and putting my trust in someone else leaning back.”

The words of Greg Commins from Kilcormac who has managed to raise €1,300 to date from a recent fundraiser in which he abseiled the GAA headquarters in Dublin in support of Special Olympics Ireland.

Greg said “it was a great day” and that he got a briefing on what was involved a did a pretest before abseiling Croke Park, approximately 150 foot off the ground.

Despite his fears, Greg said that he got through the challenge by telling himself that he had to do it for charity. He added that when he first went up on the roof he was “grand” but experienced “a bit of discomfort” after that.

“It was a good feeling after to know that I was able to do it. I'm still fundraising, the link is open at the moment,” stated Greg.

The abseil took place in Croke Park, Dublin on Friday, May 12 and a group participated along with Greg to help raise money to send athletes to the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin this summer.

A volunteer with Special Olympic Team Ireland for the last number of years, Greg decided to volunteer for the World Games in Berlin but to qualify must meet a fundraising target of €3,800.

As part of the Offaly man's fundraising efforts he also took part in the polar plunge on Clogherhead Beach in Louth last November and raised €1,070 from this event. Around 200 people took part and ran into the sea in freezing temperatures.

Greg said he enjoys "giving back" and last year he was a volunteer on DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland for a house in Longwood, Co Meath. DIY SOS is an RTÉ show that rebuilds people's lives by rebuilding their homes with the support of a dedicated team of volunteers and suppliers. Greg worked on the house for six days roofing and gardening. The Special Olympics will take place in Berlin from Saturday, June 17 until Sunday, June 25.

Anyone who wishes to donate to Greg's fundraiser should visit the link at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/crokeparkabseil2023

Special Olympics Ireland is a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability, but it provides athletes with far more than the physical benefits of sport. Through sport, athletes develop both physically and emotionally, they make new friends, realise their dreams, and know they can fit in.

Team Ireland plans to send 73 athletes to compete in twelve sports at this year's Special Olympics World Games in Berlin and they will be supported by a delegation of over 50 volunteers.