Posted: 28th November 2014

Kids helping kids: 21 years of pushing ducks…

Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin provides care and attention for some of Ireland’s sickest children. Taking part in the Duck Push is an essential part of the Transition Year programme here in Clongowes raising much-needed funds for this cause. The entire year group comes together and helps to contribute by raising funds through many different fundraisers such as selling ‘Duckies’ (Duck Push cookies), a coffee morning, milkshakes and a jumbo raffle. This year we managed to raise €72,000 for the hospital throughout the year.

The Duck Push itself consists of 30 students pushing an 8ft yellow duck from Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin to Limerick City. The 260km journey began on the 4th of June. Everyone ran with the duck for the first kilometer from Crumlin before splitting into smaller groups. Pushing the duck is tiring but good fun so long as you have good steering ability in order not to crash! While one group pushed the duck others would collect with buckets in the local towns, which was the case all the way to the destination. Every day, when we had finished pushing, we would have to rely on the generosity of the locals in the nearest house to provide a shelter for our duck for the night. We were lucky enough to be fed generously by Dunne Stores throughout the trip and accommodated by both Cistercian College Roscrea and Glenstal Abbey, who looked after us very well.

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Ms. Fiona Whelan, Dr. Angela Byrne, Michael Binchy, Dr. Michael McDermott, Mr. Tony Egan, Ms. Rachel Daly, Mr. Gerry Cully.

The greatest Transition Year experience

The Duck Push is probably the greatest Transition Year experience available in Clongowes and we would encourage everyone who can to take part. The experience we gained from it is invaluable and although we will probably never meet the people we will have helped, we felt a terrific sense of good will when someone on the street made a sizeable donation and thanked us for our efforts. This year’s push also felt that extra bit special because it was the 21st anniversary and come the end of summer we were able to provide a more than satisfactory cheque on behalf of the cause.

The trip would have been impossible but for the generosity of Mr Tony Egan who sacrifices a lot of time and effort in preparation for the push. His attitude towards the push was also reflected by the staff members and the gap students who participated and encouraged us right to the end. We are very grateful to all of the parents and extended community who helped and supported us and hope that they continue to do so in the future. Having done a super job in maintaining the Duck Push after all these years we thank Mr Tony Egan who has stepped out of the main role of coordinating the project and we wish Mr Steven Gray, who is receiving the baton, the very best of luck. We are very grateful to everyone who has helped and supported us throughout the years and we hope that the legacy continues for a long time.

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Standing: Ms. Fiona Whelan, J. Tyrell, B. Doyle, S. Gildea, M. Binchy, J. Garty, E. Behan, Mr. T. Egan,  Dr. A. Byrne, Ms. R. Daly.

Seated; T. Blake, M. Broe, S. Tyrrell, H. Horan, G. McAleese, C. Murtagh.

Stephen Gildea and Eimhin Behan
Categories: Clongowes Stories
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