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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
irish rnli

'It's been an amazing trip': 65-year-old woman finishes run around the Irish coast

Mary Nolan Hickey, who’s 65-years-old, set off on the journey to raise money for the Irish RNLI.

mary Nolan Hickey Mary Hickey / Twitter Mary Hickey / Twitter / Twitter

A WICKLOW WOMAN who set out to run around the Irish coast to raise money for the Irish RNLI finished her route today when she arrived back in her hometown.

Mary Nolan Hickey, who’s 65-years-old, left her home in Arklow on New Year’s Day. Months later she’s completed the route and has raised over €36,000.

Hickey travelled anti-clockwise around the country, and deliberately choosing to run during the winter to symbolise the rough conditions faced by members of the RNLI.

“I could think of no better organisation to do this for,” she said.

In a previous interview with, Hickey said that even when the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma hit, “it was grand once you had the right gear on you”.

She said that it was “tough” in parts and that “the weather’s been atrocious”.

Hickey was greeted back in her hometown today by members of her community, her two sons and her twin brother.

mary Nolan Mary Hickey / Twitter Mary Hickey / Twitter / Twitter

“I’m absolutely overwhelmed by this welcome home, I did not expect it, I really didn’t,” she told the crowd who had gathered to welcome her home.

RNLI Arklow Mary Hickey / Twitter Mary Hickey / Twitter / Twitter

She said that when she set out, she imagined “dragging herself over the finish line, exhausted and looking for a bed or the cheapest hostel. That didn’t happen.”

She thanked her team for the “unbelievable work” they did in organising her stays during the past few months.

“I even stayed in a five-star hotel – they put me in the honeymoon suite,” she told the crowd, who cheered before Hickey added: “That was a waste!”

She said that the most memorable part of the event has been the people she’s met along the way.

The coastal community is something else. It’s been an amazing trip.

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