‘Blind for a day’ in Mountmellick

Ailish Dunne and Claire Doody. Photo Denis Byrne.
A Mountmellick woman is taking the plunge and going blindfold for a day, to help her friend Ailish Dunne to make it to the Rio Paralympics in 2016.

A Mountmellick woman is taking the plunge and going blindfold for a day, to help her friend Ailish Dunne to make it to the Rio Paralympics in 2016.

Claire Doody will begin her 24 hour challenge ‘A day in the life of a blind person’ when she puts on a blindfold at midnight Thursday November 20.

She will wake up in total darkness, then do what Ailish does every day, from shot putt and discus training, to eating, shopping, and negotiating obstacles out on the street.

Ailish will be on hand with advice for her friend.

“She has never gone blindfold. She will need to pay attention to everything, like sounds and textures. Shopping is particularly hard,” she said.

Ailish came up with the idea after taking part in a challenge to ‘go deaf’ for six hours.

“It was a fundraiser for deaf people so I said I’d do it, but I never thought of the challenge of being blind and deaf, but I got through it,” she said.

Ailish went blind after a sudden illness a decade ago. later taking up discus and shot putt. The money will go towards qualifiers for the 2016 Paralympics and the 2015 World Championships.

Claire works in O’Gorman’s newsagents, the Dunne family business, on Patrick Street.

There and all around the town, raffle cards are now available for supporters to fill out, with hampers as prizes.