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Dublin: 6°C Wednesday 23 September 2020
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"It's funny, people say it feels like walking on snow. It definitely doesn't".

People will literally walk across burning hot coals in Dublin tonight to help sick children.

Ouch.
Ouch.
Image: Hot coals via Shutterstock

FIVE HUNDRED DEGREE heat? Check. Bare feet? Check. A crowd of vaguely masochistic volunteers? Check.

People will literally be walking across red hot coals in Dublin city centre tonight to help raise money for sick children.

“It’s funny, people say it feels like walking on snow. It definitely doesn’t,” says Angela O’Connor, one of the organisers.

The team of volunteers are doing the challenge to raise money for the Bumbleance, the interactive children’s ambulance which brings children for free to and from the main children’s hospitals.

The Bumbleance was the brainchild of Tony and Mary Heffernan who lost two children to the rare illness Battens Disease. Their daughter Saoirse, after whom their charity The Saoirse Foundation is named, died in 2011, and their son Liam died twelve days ago.

Angela, who does voluntary fundraising to help keep the Bumbleance on the road, came up with the idea after doing a fire walk in February. ”I thought it would be a great fundraiser,” she said.

More than 30 volunteers will undergo two hours of training at The Church venue in Dublin city centre on Mary Street at 6pm tonight before the fire walking kicks off at 8pm.

“It feels a bit like when you’re on a beach and the sand is really hot,” Angela says of her previous stint of firewalking.

The red hot burning coals will reach over 500 degrees Celsius and has been described as one of the toughest mind over matter challenges you can do.

Firewalking Ireland will be on hand to coach the volunteers to get them able to do it.

There was some consideration about the event after Tony and Mary’s son Liam died last week. ”There was a question about whether to go ahead but it was their wishes,” says Angela.

The Bumbleance will also be on hand so people can have a look at what their money is going towards.

“This is Ireland at its best,” said Tony Heffernan. “Our charity The Saoirse Foundation and myself are very grateful for the support of those participating in the firewalk and especially those volunteering to organise the event, who hope to raise enough money to fund the service for several weeks”.

Read: Rehab and CRC scandals still driving down donations for most charities > 

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