Ballymagroarty Parish Priest Father Paddy O’Kane was set to walk through hot flames in the name of charity last night.
The priest has already raised over £2, 000 for local charity Children In Crossfire, and more donations have been promised, even before he walks across flames with a mean temperature of 1236 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fr. O’Kane expains: “A few weeks ago I accepted an invitation from Children in Crossfire to do a sponsored walk over hot coals. This is a charity I admire and I respect how they help vulnerable children worldwide. The charity was formed by Richard Moore who is a personal friend of mine.” Those good intentions haven’t stopped his parishoners from pulling his leg about the firewalk: “When I told people at Mass about my challenge, one man said to me; ‘My son did it two months ago and will be getting out of hospital tomorrow.’ Another lady said; ‘It we be a good preparation for me for the coals of Hell!’” This is not the first hi-octane challenge the priest has undertaken for charity: “The first sponsored walk I ever did was with the students of the Technical College in Derry when, as a young curate, I was chaplain in St. Eugene’s. Then in Strabane I did a parachute jump in Letterkenny in aid of the Heart Chest and Stroke Charity. One of the scary parts of that event was having to climb out onto the wing of the plane, past a strong wind stream, to the jumping off platform. Then I had to see if my parachute had opened.”
John Ryan Mc Laughlin, of Children in Crossfire said: “Fr Paddy’s O’Kane’s participation in the firewalk and the tremendous generosity of his parish, will enable us to deliver vital help to make healthcare and education available to some of the world’s most vulnerable children.”