Pair set to mount charity challenge

Roy Copeland in the Cleveland Hills on the Coast-to-coast walk in 2009.
Roy Copeland in the Cleveland Hills on the Coast-to-coast walk in 2009.

POYNTZPASS pair Helen Delahunty and Roy Copeland will be climbing the highest peaks in each of Ireland’s four provinces in just 48 hours this weekend.

Helen and her brother Roy Copeland will join 11 other people in a bid to raise money for Christian Aid’s vital overseas work with the world’s poorest people.

The pair, who are both in their 60s, will start their 48-hour challenge with a quick climb up Slieve Donard in the Mournes on Friday afternoon. As soon as they get down from Ulster’s highest mountain, they will be in the bus and off to Co Wicklow in Leinster for an early Saturday climb up Lughnaquilla.

Barely stopping for breath, Helen and Roy will then head west for Connaught’s highest mountain, Mweelrea in Co Mayo, and climb that on Saturday afternoon. After just a few hours sleep in a youth hostel, the Poyntzpass siblings will finally take on the highest mountain in Ireland in the pre-dawn hours of Sunday morning – Munster’s Carrauntoohill in Co Kerry. They will need to be up and back down again by 2pm in order to complete the challenge less than 48 hours after it began in Newcastle, Co Down.

By the end of the challenge Helen, Roy and the rest of ‘Team Poverty’ will have ascended an exhausting 3,300 metres or 11,000 feet. Helen said she is looking forward to re-living past experiences having climbed some of the mountains before. “I am doing this because I climbed three of these mountains in past years and want to do them again as a Last Hurrah to big physical challenges.

“Having my brother Roy, who never gives up, as a companion will be the needed impetus to reach four peaks in two days. And Christian Aid, despite or because of its title, is non-exclusive. This money will help ease hunger throughout the world.”

Roy said he is glad to be able to raise money by climbing mountains which is a hobby of his. “There’s a few I haven’t done”, he says. “I’m happy to take this opportunity to see the tops of some mountains I haven’t seen before, and at the same time to raise money for charity”.

Christian Aid’s Adrian Horsman, from Annaclone, said, “We’re very grateful to Helen and Roy for doing this. This is a serious physical challenge. And I can assure Helen and Roy and everyone who has sponsored them that all of the money raised will go towards our work with some of the world’s poorest communities. They’re certainly putting the boot into poverty!”

Anyone wishing to sponsor Helen or Roy can still do so at or by calling Christian Aid in Belfast on (028) 9064 8133.