Limerick city mayor ends term in office on a high

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Mayor Michael Sheahan with John Byrnes and Gillian O' Gorman Director of Services MWSA
Mayor Michael Sheahan with John Byrnes and Gillian O' Gorman Director of Services MWSA
Mayor Michael Sheahan with John Byrnes and Gillian O’ Gorman Director of Services MWSA

by Alan Jacques

[email protected]

COUNCILLOR Michael Sheahan will literally end his term in office as Mayor of Limerick Metropolitan District on a high this month as he leaps out of a moving aircraft at 13,000 feet.

On June 28, Cllr Sheahan will jump from a plane three miles above the ground, freefalling two miles in 45 seconds at 120mph, before opening his parachute at 5,000 feet.

However, this is not some extreme response from the Fine Gael man due to his 12 months in office as Metropolitan Mayor coming to an end. In fact, the fearless politician’s skydive is a kindhearted gesture to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the Mid West Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association (MWSA).

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Cllr Sheahan put on a brave face when the Limerick Post spoke to him this week about plummeting three miles to the earth.

“The sky’s the limit for politicians,” he boasted.

“I’ve no bother at all with heights, not at all. I used to climb up as high as I could on the trees in my grandfather’s house when I was a young fella. I remember doing some labouring work and being on top of a silo and a rope being tied around my waist to reach out over the side of it,” Cllr Sheahan recalled.

“I just have to do a medical now, which is a requirement prior to the jump, but heights are not a bother.”

The Mid West Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association is a voluntary organisation run by parents and friends of people in County Limerick, Clare, and North Tipperary who live with one or both of these conditions. It provides services to close to 100 families, with members ranging in age from newborn to 46.

Mayor Sheahan said he was delighted to be involved in such a worthy fundraiser at the end of his year in office.

The Midwest Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association is an independent charity with every cent raised going directly towards services such as physiotherapy, orthotics, counselling, special bikes and equipment, computer classes, cookery, leadership and self awareness development, summer camps, swimming, art lessons and wheelchair sports.

“As we do not receive any funds from any national association and are less than 30 per cent funded by the HSE, we must rely heavily on fundraising to continue to provide much-needed services,” explained MWSA vice chairman John Byrnes.

“Ask your friends, work colleagues or your boss. Our goal is to get 100 participants to take on the 13,000 Skydive by end of September,” he pleaded.

You can register for a skydive sponsor pack at www.spinabifida.ie.

Mayor Michael Sheahan will do his charity skydive at the Irish Parachute Club, Clonbullogue, County Offaly on June 28. You can support Michael by donating at www.idonate.ie.