In the footsteps of Giants – The Art O’Neill Challenge 2018

On January 6th, 1592 Art O’Neill, his brother Henry, and Red Hugh O’Donnell made a bid for freedom from Dublin Castle. It was the middle of winter and Ireland was held fast in its icy clutches but they hoped to reach the relative safety of the remote Glenmalure Valley 53km away.

Ill equipped and underfed they were the only prisoners ever to successfully escape captivity from Dublin Castle but it was an ill-fated journey with Art O’Neill dying from exposure only miles from his goal.

To commemorate their great strength of spirit the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team each year allow 200 hardy souls make their own journey from Dublin Castle to Glenmalure – this is 53 km and 4,700 feet of elevation gain, starting at 1am. The 2018 event left Dublin Castle last Friday 12th January and The Panel’s very own Alan Bluett  successfully completed the Art O’Neill 2018 challenge (30k on road/ 23k off road) in an impressive 12:36:59 time! The conditions this year were testing with driving rain for 12 hours, a 30km southern winds in our faces and some hairy river crossings.

A big thank you to the fantastic women and men of the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team who got everyone home safely and well done Alan!

Click to view Alan’s short video of the Art O’Neill Challenge.