Scaling Carauntoohill - Garda Ken McDonald

Garda Ken is scaling the heights for terminally ill children

Garda Ken McDonald plans to scale the heights - complete with a rowing machine - after he was suitably impressed by a visit to the children’s charity Share a Dream. The Garda training instructor at the Templemore Garda Training College met Shay Kinsella and the youngsters in Dreamland and couldn’t believe the great work they do. When he heard about the subsequent break-ins at Dreamland, it prompted him to set about raising some much needed funds for Share a Dream. 
Garda Ken explains: “That I was flabbergasted by the amazing work being done by the charity for seriously ill and disabled children all over Ireland for the last 27 years is an understatement. Not only do Share a Dream make dreams come true for children fighting terrible life threatening illnesses but they have also built the very first ever all-inclusive magical indoor fun centre called Dreamland. Dreamland allows disabled children for the first time ever to play alongside their abled-bodied siblings and friends, so for their parents it’s a dream come true. All of this work is done without receiving any government funding and solely relying on the goodwill of the community.
“So, when the charity suffered two major break-ins last year to Dreamland causing thousands of euro worth of damages I decided that I must do something to raise much needed funds for repairs and to make dreams come true for terminally ill children while raising more national awareness that the charity deserves.”
Garda Ken is embarking on a unique fundraiser that involves his love of rowing. He adds: “Rowing is my passion and I have been so fortunate in my career to have broken the World indoor record over 1000m last November at the Provincial Rowing Championships; won the Rhine Marathon in Germany in a men’s coxed quad, won two gold medals at the World Masters rowing championships in Budapest and the list goes on. So, whatever I decided to do it had to be associated with rowing. After witnessing the amazing courage and determination that the children endure daily to find some quality in life I decided I would challenge myself to the limit for Share a Dream –”
On March 28th, Ken will be attempting to carry his rowing machine (weighing 26kgs/4stone) up Carrauntoohill and row 10km when he reaches the top before descending. His aim is to raise €30,000 for the Share a Dream Foundation to rectify the damages they suffered after the break-ins and so that they can continue making dreams come true for very sick children.

Garda Ken is appealing for sponsorship and you can help by registering at for a sponsor pack or call 061 200080. You could organise a sponsored cycle on a stationary bike or rowing machine, a sponsored head shave/beard shave or why not get out with the kids and go for a walk or a climb in your local area. 
He explains: “Please support me in raising funds for Share a Dream. I’m doing the lifting all I want from you is support, so challenge yourself in any event no matter how small.”
You can also donate online at