A Mayo man who has broken the Guinness world record for the longest ever barefoot walk, stopped off in Derry on Monday to mark the 86th day of his trip.
Eamonn Keaveney caught the attention of walkers and motorists as he casually strolled past Caw roundabout in his bare feet, as he continues the second half of his epic 2,000 mile walk for charity.
He smashed the world record two weeks ago when he hit Ballynahinch, but Eamonn’s determined to continue on. His next stop is Letterkenny, he’ll then head south through Sligo and hopes to be back home at Claremorris in Mayo on August 12
“It’s great knowing that I’ve broken the record,” Eamonn told the ‘Journal’ as he passed through the city on a rest day this week. But I think it would be a bit anti-climatic to stop now. It’s not just about the breaking the record, but setting my own.”
While the walk is a world record breaking one, behind the journey is a more human story.
“I lost a friend to suicide two and a half years ago,” said Eamonn. “I was in Eason book shop one day when I saw the record for the longest barefoot journey in the Guinness Book of Records and I decided that is what I would do, and along the way raise money for Pieta House (a suicide and self harm prevention centre).
“Being barefoot isn’t too bad. The feet have toughened up a bit now but it was a bit sore at the start.
“The weather has been a real mixture of torrential rain, blazing sunshine and that typical Irish weather of overcast skies with showers.
“On average I walk about eight hours a day, but that has been decreasing as I’ve gone along. Everywhere I have gone people have been so welcoming.
“It has been a long walk but I never feel lonely when I am walking. It is only when I stop that I start to feel a little lonely or if I am in a big town where I know nobody. I keep in touch with the family though and my sister Maureen who is looking after my social media.
‘Being barefoot isn’t too bad and the feet have toughened up now. I walk for eight hours a day’
“In many of the places I have passed through people have stopped to talk to me, or given me something to eat.
“I do get the odd strange look from people when they see me walking along the road with no shoes on and I understand that.”
Eamonn is travelling so light with just the bare essentials, that he admits he hasn’t even brought a pair of shoes with him to wear on rest days.
Travelling lightly with just the bare essentials, Eamonn said the response he has had has been amazing and he has already raised over 15,000 euro.
To donate to Eamonn’s page please click on https://give.everydayhero.com/ie/baring-my-soles