Derek and Marty complete epic paddle up the Shannon for diabetes

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Derry canoeist Derek Lishman is giving his tired arms a well-earned rest after paddling up the River Shannon - against the flow - and raising over £860 to help people living with diabetes.

Derek, a member of the Foyle Paddlers, completed the extraordinary journey in just nine days in the company of his pal and diabetes sufferer, Marty Gallagher from Fermanagh.

Having put in at Killaloe in County Clare on March 12 they paddled 400 kilometres upstream before beaching at Keshcarrigan in County Leitrim.

Derek and Marty’s epic ‘Paddle for Diabetes’ was all aimed towards raising funds for Diabetes UK, as well as raising awareness about the condition.

As they said before they set out: “We are doing this to help raise awareness for people with diabetes and the mental and physical problems that can come with it.”

At the time of writing, the pair had managed to raise over £860 through their https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Paddle4diabetes page , more than doubling their original target.

Recalling the trip, Mr. Gallagher said: “The weather overall was terrible. We had a lot of wind in our face and flow against us. Lough Derg and Lough Ree were quite up against us. We had a lot of rough water paddling across them with all the gear in the boat as well.”

Despite the challenges, they achieved their goal.

“We’ve paddled the length of the Shannon. We paddled even up as a far as Keshcarrigan and we pulled out there,” he added..

They also met some new friends.

“Stopping was the hardest part because there were so many great people. It was definitely a tough battle and the arms and everything are a wee bit sore.”