18 May 2022

Kildare man to climb Croagh Patrick in ­a wheelchair as part of charity venture

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A Kildare native is taking on the challenge of a lifetime by climbing Croagh Patrick in ­a wheelchair to raise funds for both the National Rehabilitation Hospital for Adults and Children (NRH) and Spinal Injuries Ireland (SII).

43-year-old Lester Cassidy will take on the mammoth task with a little help from his family and friends on June 25.

In July 1998, Lester was tragically left paralysed from a workplace accident at only 19 years of age: the Kilcock local was working as an apprentice carpenter on the roof of a house in Leixlip at the time.

He explained: "The scaffolding gave way under my feet and I fell about 24ft. I'll never forget the sound of my back breaking... I knew I was in serious trouble."

The next day, surrounded by his devastated family and his then girlfriend Rachel, now his wife, a doctor said he had suffered irreparable damage to his spinal cord.

Kilcock local Lester Cassidy

After a few weeks in hospital, Lester was transferred to the NRH in Dún Laoghaire: "The staff do the most amazing job to get the patient back to being as independent and healthy as possible. They are inspirational. 

"SII also made a massive impact on my life as I was able to learn how to drive under their driving programme.

"Shortly after my release, Rachel (Lester's partner) and I went travelling the world. Then we settled down, built a house, and got married."

In 2008, the Cassidys welcomed twins Samuel and Anna Rose (13), and then, seven years ago, Isabelle came along.

He added: I’m a stay-at-home dad, and I love it. It's the most rewarding job in the world. My kids are everything to me"

Last year, the Cassidys were met with more bad news when a tumour was discovered on Lester’s brain.

Thankfully, Lester’s subsequent brain surgery was a success and he has since become even more emboldened to complete his Croagh Patrick challenge.


Lester’s message is simple; life is precious, and even an immeasurable tragedy can be overcome: "I had originally planned to do this challenge in 2020 but between COVID and my tumour surgery recovery I’ve had to postpone it until now.

"I won’t be defeated and I will complete this challenge."

To scale Croagh Patrick, a special buggy has been designed that will be pushed by teams of supporters working in shifts. 

Those who wish to donate to Lester’s appeal can do at

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