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Joanne Treacy with supporters at Ballycuggeran after completing her final climb. Photograph by Arthur Ellils

Scariff adventurer scales 26 peaks for charity

Scariff adventurer Joanne Treacy has sucessfully raised money for a national mental health charity, climbing 26 peaks in 10 days in the process.
While donations are still being collected this week, the London-based neuroscientist believes the final amount should be in the region of €6,500.
Joanne is thrilled with the figure raised for the Headstrong charity and the public awareness her peaks challenge has generated about the help that is available for people suffering from mental illness and depression.
Although Joanne said she was physically and mentally tired at the end of her charity climbs, she was energised by the huge support she received from family, friends and other hill walking enthusiasts who joined her in the different challenges.
Having climbed Knockboy in Cork and Carrauntoohil on Saturday, Joanne travelled to Twomilegate a few miles from Killaloe, where she climbed Molussa, the highest peak in Clare, with a group of 30 people. One girl got up at 5am to join her for the ascent of Mullaghmore in Sligo.
When the official climb of Croagh Patrick was cancelled last Sunday week, Joanne found herself at the foot of Cuilcagh Mountain on the border between County Fermanagh and County Cavan, where she was joined by another adventurer, Murray Nolan, who drove from Lucan for the climb in atrocious weather conditions.
Mr Nolan gave Joanne great assistance, as he has climbed numerous peaks in Ireland over a six-month period previously.
The following day, experienced Kinvara-based mountaineer, Ronan Keane, helped her and a group of climbers to negotiate the tricky descent of the Twelve Bens, which is very dangerous, particularly when visibility is poor during fog or bad weather conditions.
Tomás Shinnick, who works in Fermoy, joined her for her climb in the Galteemore, which also helped to avoid any mishaps.
At times, Joanne said she felt like the Welsh adventurer and television presenter, Anneka Rice, meeting loads of interesting people on her travels through every county in Ireland.
“When you are doing a challenge like this, it involves a huge commitment from family and friends. I was joined on the climbs by people from the four corners of the country, which was great,” Joanne noted.
“You can’t beat local knowledge, particularly on the more difficult climbs.
“Headstrong is delighted with the amount of money that has been raised for the charity. While raising money is important, the challenge also raised a huge amount of public awareness about what the charity does. Even if got a person to look at the Headstrong website and look for help, the challenge will have been worth it,” she said.
Speaking to The Clare Champion on Tuesday from Doolin where she was enjoying a well-earned break, Joanne thanked all of her family, friends, the climbers who joined her and local businesses, who provided refreshments at the end of the Molussa climb.
Is this something she would do again? “I will continue to go up mountains, which is something I love. Completing some of my hair brained ideas is something that requires a huge amount of commitment and support from people. I might give them a break before I embark on the next madcap idea,” she replied.
Joanne, who works in drug safety for a Japanese pharmaceutical company in London, started hiking a number of years ago to keep fit but also to escape the madness of London and get some headspace.
Having completed a degree and a research masters in NeuroScience in UCC, she worked in Dublin for a couple of years for a clinical research group and then moved to London in 2004.
In 2014, Joanne and her sister, Kate, joined world renowned adventurer Pat Falvey on Kilimanjaro.
Joanne picked Headstrong as her chosen charity as she thinks it is fantastic that they are focused specifically on youth mental health needs, with Jigsaw offering support directly but also offering support to others concerned with young people in a community like parents, teachers and sports clubs.
She likes the fact the charity is concerned about changing attitudes like how people view mental health issues and also how people approach addressing them.
People can still support Joanne’s charity climb efforts by logging on to www.mycharity.ie/event/joanne_treacys_event/
This page will be kept open until the end of August.

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