A Galway farm accident survivor is set to cycle a 300km roundtrip and climb Croagh Patrick on 18 September in an effort to raise funds for Clonfert National School. Anthony Flanagan lost one of his legs during an incident involving a combine harvester in 2004.
“I got in the bin of the harvester to release the last bit of corn when my leg slipped and got caught in the auger. I lost the leg and I have had to learn to do everything using the other leg,” Flanagan told the Irish Farmers Journal.
Flanagan will be joined by four friends; Stephen Swan, Daniel Hogan, Jody McEvoy, and Brian Kenny on his trip to the peak of Craogh Patrick and back.
The five will set off from Clonfert on 18 September, aiming to complete the 150km cycle to Croagh Patrick in one day. The team will rest overnight before climbing the 764m mountain the following morning. They will then cycle the 150km return trip home to Clonfert.
“I will be cycling with one leg, clipped into the pedal. I’ve been training a long time for this and I’ve got used to just using one pedal. I’ve done a lot of swimming also to build up strength,” Flanagan continued.
“I will climb Croagh Patrick using crutches. I’ll drag myself up it if I have to.”
Prior to his accident in 2004, Flanagan spent six months in Australia working on arable farms during the harvest season.
“I had a good bit of experience driving these machines but with the nature of farming you can find yourself rushing and that’s how accidents happen,” Flanagan said.
“When I lost my leg I never had 10 minutes of depression. I made sure that I wasn’t going to be molly coddled. You need to keep as active as you possibly can after an accident like this. Do as much as you can for yourself and keep as much of your independence as possible. I found that great for keeping the head right. There’s always a worse case out there.”