Dillon Lynch: Miniature Hero

Dillon Lynch: Miniature Hero

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centra, dillon, hiking, lynch, mountains

To celebrate the launch of the Centra Restart Challenge for April, which focuses on hiking, we chat to nine-year-old Dillon Lynch about hiking to the highest point of Ireland’s 32 counties.

 
“My favourite mountain was Kippure, the highest mountain in Dublin. To get to it we went up a road called the Military Road. The area was pretty boggy with a big canyon that went up at the sides. It was really fun to climb up the boggy sides of the canyon, but I really liked the Military Road the most. Not because I like the army. I just like the name of the road. I got my photo taken with it.”
 
When talking to Dillon Lynch, sometimes it’s easy to forget he’s just nine years old as he describes climbing mountains all over Ireland. But then, you get a reminder of the beautiful innocence of his thinking.
 
Talking about his great achievement, Dillon says, “When I finished all 32 counties, I was very happy. It was amazing knowing I was the youngest person ever to complete it. When we got back to the hotel after finishing, my family gave me a teddy and I called it Trostan after the last mountain we’d just climbed in Antrim. I liked that.”
 
Over the space of 14 months, Dillon and his dad Pat climbed to the highest point in each of the 32 counties in Ireland. They took on the challenge quite by accident. Once they realised they had hiked all of the highest points in Munster, they just kept going! They live in Kildorrery, just outside Mitchelstown in Cork, which is surrounded by mountain ranges like the Ballyhouras, Galtees and Knockmealdowns.
 
Dillon and his dad fitted their 32-county challenge in on weekends and around holidays and Dillon even set up his own website (including all the coding) to track his progress He also sold ads to local businesses to help fundraise for charity.
He says, “It was a great way to keep people in touch with what we were doing, and it helped me to raise money. I go to Coder Dojo to learn coding and they taught us HTML, so I coded the whole site by hand.
 

“I really like coding because it’s very interesting and helpful and it could really help us in the future. The world is getting more techy now and you might want coders like me in the future,” he says.
 
Dillon raised more than €3,300 for the Cloyne Diocesan Youth Services in Mallow and the Kildorrery Karate Club. So what was Dillon’s favourite memory from the challenge? “Completing each mountain was fun. To be able to say I’d another one ticked off the list and put the pictures on my website, which meant more coding, was very fun. I also got to visit all the counties, which was cool because I hadn’t done that before. When I knew I had finished it and was the youngest person to do it, that felt amazing and was good craic.”
 
WORDS OF ADVICE
As for Dillon’s advice to anyone taking on a challenge? “Just think of something you want to do and keep doing it, and never give up. So think of a hobby, something you like, like climbing mountains or biking and then think of a challenge that could go with that. And then just never give up.
 
“For me, this challenge was fun and enjoyable. There were some lovely views from some of the mountains. I knew it would be a great accomplishment, even if I wasn’t the youngest person to do it.”
 
So what’s next for the miniature hero? “We’re hoping to climb at least one mountain a month for the rest of this year. We do Kilcruig near our house pretty regularly and we’ll do some more in the Ballyhoura mountains. And there’s another mountain range we want to start climbing. It starts with a C. I can’t remember the name of it. Oh! I remember now. It’s the Comeraghs. We’ll start hiking there!” And in terms of his plans for the future?
 
“I don’t know yet. I might be a coder. I could keep climbing mountains, or start a mountain climbing club. I’d also like to build a mountain bike track.”
 
Where would he do that? “Well, that’s the one problem I keep coming up with. But I’d like to create a park where you hike up the mountain and then you can cycle all the way down”. When asked how he would the bike get up there, he says, “I’d build a bike transporting system, kind of like an escalator that you can put your bike on and then it would be at the top when you get up there.” Genius!
 
To follow Dillon’s progress, visit:
http://bit.ly/2mlo4Ri




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Dillon Lynch: Miniature Hero

To celebrate the launch of the Centra Restart Challenge for April, which focuses on hiking, we chat to nine-year-old Dillon Lynch about hiking to the highest point of Ireland’s 32 counties.

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