PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins hailed an eight-year-old Cork boy a hero after he completed an incredible feat and raised €30,000 for charity.
People wept openly as Ballincollig boy Oliver Lynch, who has cerebral palsy, completed his 5km journey — 100 metres a day over the last 50 days.
The media, fire service, friends and family lined the route of his final 100m walk yestereday to acknowledged Oliver's bravery, prompting President Michael D Higgins to write a personal letter saluting his courage.
“As President of Ireland, it makes me very proud to hear of young people like you who are kind, thoughtful, and determined to do good for others,” said the President Higgins.
“There can be no doubt that you are one of life’s great heroes.”
In total, Oliver has raised €31,000 for three charities — Enable Ireland, Dogs for the Disabled, and the CUH Charity.
Lord Mayor Joe Kavanagh said he was moved to tears watching Oliver: “In difficult times like the Covid pandemic, we need heroes, we need people like Oliver to bring people together, to bring communities together and showcase resilience.
"His resilience, his strength of character is typical of the resilience of the people of Cork.”
Taoiseach Micheál Martin was among the first to send congratulations.
In a special video message, Mr Martin paid tribute to him for raising so much money.
“I can’t believe the amount of money you’ve raised,” said the Taoiseach.
“It’s fantastic, you deserve great credit.”
Oliver is a student of Gaelscoil Uí Riordáin in Ballincollig and began his challenge after he became frustrated that he could not join siblings Reuben and Caoimhe in their couch to 5k challenge.