Firewalking Event A Sizzling Success for the North Tipp Hospice

On Saturday night last, the rain subsided for a unique event where 38 brave adrenaline seekers walked bare foot over 20 feet of hot coals. Friends and family and supporters were there cheering them on to achieve the impossible and walk on fire. To say that the atmosphere at the Abbey Court Hotel was ‘fiery’ is a complete understatement. The car park which was literally on fire, was the chosen venue for the North Tipperary Hospice Movement’s Fire Walk Fundraiser – “Firing It Up In North Tipperary – Anything Is Possible”!


Master Firewalker Brian Moore of Peak Potential conducted a two hour seminar to all 38 participants prior to the walk in order get them in the ‘mind over matter’ way of thinking – channelling their energy and overcoming their fears. Outside, Drum Dance Ireland were playing bongos and drums to entertain supporters whilst the fire was burning, creating an electric atmosphere before the brave firewalkers came out.

At 9.30 the Firewalkers came out charged up and ready to go, one by one the volunteers daringly walked across the burning coals. Mid-way through, the coals were topped up before non-other than ‘Feet of Flames’ Irish dancing star Bernadette Flynn walked across! Chief Fire Officer Dave Carroll was the final walker of the night; he thankfully didn’t need to call on his Firefighter colleagues to quench his feet!


The North Tipperary Hospice Movement is delighted that their Firewalk event has so far raised almost €8000, which was pledged in sponsorship on the night. The event has been hailed a great success by the Kay O Donoghue of the North Tipperary Hospice.

Said Kay; “We would like to say a massive thank you to the participants for raising such a fantastic amount, and to their family & friends for supporting them. It was an absolutely amazing evening. What a great sense of achievement for all our firewalkers – they have achieved what seemed impossible – well done everyone!.” Kay would like to thank everybody involved, who participated and supported the event, and a special thanks to Joan Mc Gowan, of the Fairways Bar in Kilruane, who organised the event.


Funds raised from events such as the Firewalk are so important to the hospice and will be going straight towards the care and support that the movement offer to the people of North Tipperary and the movement is proud to say that all monies raised are spent locally. The organisation provides medical and nursing care for patients with life limiting illnesses in their own homes and in nursing homes throughout North Tipperary. They supply specialised equipment for pain control and comfort as well as psychological and social support for the patients and their families. “It gives patients the dignity of dying in their own homes surrounded by family and friends” said Kay.


A  further provision by the organisation are specialist palliative care services through our two cancer care facilities –Suaimhneas in Nenagh, and Suir Haven in Thurles, which are places of therapy, counselling and general socialising and relaxing. “Patients come from home to meet one another in a social rather than clinical environment, and meet the specialized multidisciplinary team of counsellors, therapists and volunteers” said Kay.

Joan Mc Gowan, firewalk organiser, said: “The firewalk was an exhilarating experience for all involved and raised lots of money for a cause that touches so many people”. Joan explained how even some of the firewalkers were themselves cancer survivors and had used the hospice services in the past. Said Joan; “These brave souls put their fears aside and overcame a major challenge- walking across burning coals, proving that anything is indeed possible when you put your mind to it!.”

The North Tipp Hospice and Joan Mc Gowan would like to thank everyone who participated in this unique event, some of  who included Bernadette Flynn, international dancer and star of Feet of Flames, World Indoor Rowing Champion, Kenneth McDonald; Chief Fire Officer, Dave Carroll; Lisa McGee of ISLE Magazine; Tim Shelly, Financial Advisor; Kay O’Donoghue, Chairperson of the North Tipperary Hospice Movement; Sara McDonnell, PRO of the North Tipperary Hospice Movement; Mary Ryan Murray, President Network North Tipperary; Geraldine Manning, County Enterprise Board, Siobhan Kennedy of Kennedy’s Bar in Upperchurch, Sophie Purcell, Anne Maher, Elaine Dorris of Lough Derg Chocolates; Brenda Ryan of Dream Cakes by Brenda; Joan McGowan & Connie Ord of The Fairways; Margaret McCabe; Willie Keane & Val O’Meara of the Value Centre; Superintendent Robert Noonan; Tim Shelly of Acorn Life; Cyril Mulcahy; Gregory Starr of Operation Transformation fame; Edwina O’Brien of Guerins Pharmacy; Imelda Connolly of the Abbey Court Hotel; Councillor Seamus Morris; Michelle Gleeson of Cocoon; Edwina Flannery; Designer Marion Murphy-Cooney; Deirdre Keller of Solemates; Mags Bergin of Mags’ Home Baking; Margaret McLoughney of AIB; Bernie Harty, Caroline Kinane of Tipp FM and Fiona Connolly of Lyons Garage.


This brave feat had never before been attempted in North Tipperary. Event organiser, Joan McGowan was delighted with the success of the event that has already raised nearly €8000 for the North Tipperary Hospice Movement and that tally is still rising. The main event sponsor was Barry Grace Wood Supplier. Also sponsoring the event were JJ Ryan’s Undertakers in Nenagh, The Fairways Bar & Orchard Restaurant in Kilruane, Zip Yard in Nenagh & Clonmel, Councillor Virginia O’Dowd, Midland Environmental Services, Tipp FM, the Nenagh Guardian and Guardian Print & Design, and Tom Doherty who kindly donated his photography services for the night. If you would like to applaud and commend the brave Fire Walkers, you can do so by donating to the North Tipperary Hospice Movement on or by contacting Kay O Donoghue, on 0872864808.

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