News Release

Five Peaks in Five Days

In early 2022, Brother Michael MacDonald, of the Bangor 2nd Ward in the Belfast Northern Ireland Stake was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. He committed to change his lifestyle to try and reverse the diagnosis.  As part of his journey to a healthier lifestyle, he received help and support from family and friends.

Following discussions with some family members, Brother MacDonald decided to take on the challenge to climb 5 Peaks in 5 Days - to hike the 5 tallest mountains in the UK and Ireland in 5 consecutive days. His brother, Jonathan MacDonald, brother-in-law, Gerrard Doherty and friend and member of Michael’s ward, Steven Murphy thought it a good idea to join him.

Brother MacDonald’s son, Joel is diagnosed with ASD and is educationally statemented.  Michael had the inspirational idea to not only do this challenge for his own benefit, but to also raise funds for Autism Northern Ireland. He states: “I wanted to give something back, in order to thank all who have assisted my son in enabling him to access education and reach his potential.”

On Wednesday 26th April 2023 they commenced the challenge starting on Day 1 with the tallest mountain in Northern Ireland, Slieve Donard. Day 2 was then a 300-mile drive to Killarney, where on Thursday 27th April 2023 they hiked Carrauntoohil, the tallest mountain in the Republic of Ireland. From there, a 220- mile drive to Dublin Port to catch the ferry to Holyhead Wales. Following a few hours sleep, it was now Friday 28th April, and they were ready for Day 3.  This took them up Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales.  Another 200-mile car journey up to the beautiful Lake District. On Day 4, Saturday 29th April 2023, they made it to the top of Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England. Their journey continued north with a 256-mile drive to the base of Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in Scotland and all the British Isles. On Day 5, the 30th of April 2023 this very tired, but very accomplished band of brothers made it to the summit of Ben Nevis.

Over the 5 days they were all overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and generosity of family, friends and members of the Belfast Northern Ireland Stake, as well as many beyond. This terrific accomplishment raised over £5100 for Autism Northern Ireland, which Michael knows will be put to good use, helping children and young people, like Brother MacDonald’s son, Joel.

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