Wedding invite brought cycle forward for Enda

Enda Walshe with his father, Cathal, taking a brief break at Moll’s Gap

The record books might not have recorded it but the first home in this year’s Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle was none other than well-known Killarney man Enda Walshe.

In fact the Killarney Legion and St Paul’s Basketball Club PRO was so far ahead of the peloton that he crossed the finish line in Killarney two full days before anybody else.

It was a case of needs must for Enda as he was invited to a friends’ wedding this Saturday when the official cycle is taking place.

He had been training hard for the 170km event since last March and had been upping his preparation to two or three days a week and endeavouring to complete up to 170km every week.

Enda set out last Thursday – a day borrowed from winter – to complete the cycle marathon.

Enda Walshe at the Mick O’Dwyer monument in Waterville

He left Killarney at 7.40am and he had to battle torrential rain, biting cold and strong winds along the route, with the notorious Moll’s Gap throwing up the most severe challenges.

“It was like a day in January and the conditions were brutal but I got through it,” Enda told

He took a number of brief breaks along the way but he battled with the elements to complete the long journey in seven and a half hours, arriving back in Killarney at 4.20pm.

No journey around the Ring of Kerry is complete without a stop at An Siopa Dubh

It was, quite astonishingly, Enda’s 24th time taking on the Ring of Kerry cycle and he has raised thousands of euros for his chosen charities over the years. This year his chosen beneficiary is Recovery Haven in Tralee.

Enda, who is manager at Quill’s Menswear on High Street, thanked his back-up team of his dad, Cathal, and Finbarr Walsh with his daughters, Rebecca and Amy, also providing great support.

While it was a tough task, it’s mission accomplished for the popular charity champion and while 4,500 cyclists set out on the Ring of Kerry cycle this Saturday morning, Enda was able to relax and home and look forward to a great day at the wedding of Killarney sports stars Rheanne O’Shea of St Paul’s Basketball Club and Killarney Legion’s All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Brian Kelly. Read by thousands of people every day: To advertise call 064-6631281 or 087-2229761