Cork County Mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy hopes to raise €10,000 after jumping out of a plane in a tandem sky-dive over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Councillor Murphy, along with 18 other people from Eyeries in West Cork, took to the skies to do a tandem skydive in aid of local charities.
Taking part in this fundraiser was particularly challenging for Mr Murphy, who has been a wheelchair user since 1993 as a result of a car accident.
Not one to let his disability hold him back, Mayor Murphy met with a number of people from across Eyeries community groups earlier this year to come up with fundraising ideas to improve the playground in Eyeries, to help the local Tidy Towns organisation and to support the annual Eyeries Festival.
They also wanted to raise money for Cancer Connect, the organisation that helps West Cork cancer patients travel to Cork for their treatment, a charity that is very close to the Mayor’s heart.
“It's a really valuable service, my own father benefited enormously from it before he passed away,” he said. “The idea of doing a tandem skydive was touted and I decided to go for it.
"I knew it wouldn’t be straightforward but not impossible either and I wanted to show that it could be done.”
In order to be permitted to carry out the skydive, the Mayor had to first obtain a letter from his doctor to confirm that he was in good health. Then he asked the Irish Parachute Club in County Offaly to find a parachutist who would be his partner for the tandem skydive. Experienced parachutist Tony Donnelly took on the responsibility of bringing the Mayor safely to the ground.
On Sunday, May 5, the group from Eyeries headed to Offaly.
Mayor Murphy was a member of the first group to go up in the plane and the first to skydive.
“Sitting at the edge of the plane just before jumping was a feeling I can’t describe, somewhere between fear and excitement but absolutely amazing.
“We tumbled out the door and somersaulted a few times, which was the worst bit as I was completely disoriented. But once I got my bearings, I was grand and I really enjoyed it. It was so peaceful up there, incredibly quiet and an experience I will never forget.” he said.
The landing was carefully planned and both Mayor Murphy and Tony Donnelly landed safely.
“I would recommend it to anyone, a day that will stay with me forever.” Mayor Murphy said.
To donate to Mr Murphy’s fundraiser, log onto Gofundme and search ‘The Mayor's SkyDive’.