Belfast Telegraph

Armagh man on last leg of 2,500km trek for dementia research

By Tess Davidson

An Armagh man who has walked over 2,000km (1,242 miles) to raise awareness about the importance of dementia research has reached the final stages of his trek.

Eamonn Donnelly and his friend Sepp Tieber-Kessler from Graz, Austria, have arrived in Rosslare, Co Wexford, after completing 2,200km of their epic 2,500km expedition across Europe to Northern Ireland.

The last 11 weeks have seen the pair climb, trek and camp their way across Austria, Germany, France, England and Wales without help.

Over the next 10 days they will begin their journey up the east coast of Ireland, before eventually crossing into Northern Ireland for the final journey to Keady.

The expedition, called The Long Walk Home, was inspired by Eamonn's mother Margaret who died at the age of 71 in April 2014 from a rare and particularly aggressive form of dementia.

Eamonn has been living in Austria since 1990 with his wife and three children.

He and Sepp planned the trip last year. The pair decided to push themselves by completing the trek in the "old-fashioned" way of climbing, trekking and camping.

They hope to reach their final destination on September 11.

This date coincides with Eamonn's 50th birthday, which has added further incentive to get there on time.

Along the way, they have recorded their journey through their website and video blog that also includes a live tracker and route map.

You can follow them on Twitter on @DementiaWalk.

Belfast Telegraph

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