FORMER GAA hurling all stars, Pat Critchley and Michael Duignan, in addition to Laois Camogie star, Laura Mahoney and Pat Kenny radio show contributor Senator Marie Louise O’ Donnell are among an impressive line-up of speakers who are devoting their time and expertise to a motivation night for the forthcoming Laois High Nellie Cycle Challenge for Laois Hospice.
Michael Duignan, (now an RTE Sunday Game hurling analyst) spent more than a decade earning a reputation as one of the country’s most competitive players, winning two All-Ireland senior hurling medals with Offaly.
But, behind Duignan’s sporting success and high-profile media character, is a man who has endured personal tragedy off the sporting field. In September 2009, after a long and difficult battle, his wife, Edel, died from cancer. In his autobiography Life, Death and Hurling,
Michael Duignan recounts his wife’s struggle to overcome her cancer and, later, bravely accepting her fate. But her death, and Michael’s inability to cope with her passing, brought him into an ominous phase of his life with almost devastating consequences.
In his address, Michael will recount his triumphs and tragedies and explain the motivational issues he encountered in his quest to overcome life’s challenges.
Pat Critchley is well known in Laois sporting circles, having competed at the highest level at hurling, football and basketball.
He currently holds the distinction of being the only player from Laois to receive an All Star hurling award. A highly respected physical education teacher, Pat has devised a fitness training programme for cyclists of all levels who are contemplating taking part in some or all of the Laois High Nellie Cycle Challenge.
His published autobiography is called “Hungry Hill”.
Senator Marie Louise O’ Donnell has demonstrated in print and broadcast media, her passion and compassion for the Hospice movement in the Midlands.
Senator O’ Donnell sits in the houses of the Oireachtas as an Independent Senator nominated by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and she is also a lecturer in communications at Dublin City University.
Laois and Harps camogie player, Laura Mahoney is one of several members of her club who has the distinction of winning six county, six Leinster and three all-Ireland camogie titles in six years.
A qualified dietician and a member of the INDI Sports Nutrition Interest Group, Laura is well positioned to promote the benefits of a healthy diet for the benefit of participants in the High Nelly Cycle Challenge.
Other speakers on the night will include Chairman of Laois Hospice Seamus O’ Donoghue, who will outline the recently published five year plan and the ongoing work of the Hospice movement in the county and a member of the Road Safety Association of Ireland.
The Laois High Nellie Cycle Challenge Motivation Night will take place in the Cuisle Centre Portlaoise on Thursday April 4 at 8pm and all are welcome.