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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018
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This Monaghan man is about to hitchhike around Scotland carrying a microwave

Diarmuid McCleary is aiming to raise money for Robyn’s Life.

Diarmuid McCleary
Diarmuid McCleary
Image: The Microwave Express via Facebook

A 26-YEAR-OLD Monaghan native is today beginning a hitchhiking journey across Scotland carrying a microwave oven. 

Last April, Diarmuid McCleary hitchhiked through all 32 counties of Ireland, with no money, carrying his microwave to raise funds for Jigsaw – the National Centre for Youth Mental Health. 

This time around, he plans to raise money for Robyn’s Life, a trust set up in aid of a young girl called Robyn, who was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at the age of three in 2007. 

So, why exactly is he hitchhiking with a microwave?

McCleary has previously worked as a member of DIT’s Students’ Union.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, he said: “Somehow, a broken microwave found its way… it basically landed in my office and was sitting in my office for a few months. 

When I was younger, I read a book about this guy who went around Ireland with a fridge in the 90s. I just decided that it would be great if I tried to hitchhike around the country and take a microwave with me for the craic. 

And so, his hitchhiking journey around Ireland began. He subsequently raised around €3,000 in aid of Jigsaw. 

“I think it’s the microwave that gets people to stop. If you see a hitchhiker people are … kind of scared of people they don’t know. I had a microwave with me and people were just really curious. The curiosity is what helped me,” he said. 

“It’s a really good way to break the ice.” 

The Scottish journey

In recent months, McCleary’s cousin made him aware of the Robyn’s Life Facebook page. It was then he made the decision to hitchhike again to raise money for her fund. 

When asked why he chose to hitchhike Scotland this time around, McCleary said: “I don’t really know, to be honest”. 

“I just picked a country randomly and I went with Scotland. I think Scottish people are very similar to Irish people. I’ve heard they’re very warm and that a lot of people do go hitchhiking in Scotland,” he said.

I’m hoping that they’re going to be accommodating and warm. 

McCleary is making his way to Belfast today where he hopes to get on a ferry to Cairnryan in Scotland by tomorrow. 

From there, he plans to make his way north to Ayr. 

“I’m hoping to make it from one side of the country to the other. I’ll be going to the major cities and I’ll be through all the highlands,” McCleary said. 

He said that while he doesn’t know how long the journey will take, he hopes to make it across the country within the next two weeks. 

With regards to accommodation, McCleary has nothing booked as of yet and will be “going off on a whim” as he travels Scotland. 

McCleary’s journey across Scotland will be documented on his Facebook page and on his Instagram account

“I recommend people to follow me on Instagram because I’m going to be doing live stories every day,” he said. 

He added that he’ll be completing challenges along the way in a bid to raise money. 

A GoFundMe page for McCleary’s journey can be found here

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