The Bowman family has successfully undertaken a 140-mile journey across Ireland in a 145-year-old stagecoach to raise money for charity.
The family – who are formidable competitors in the sport of horse driving trials – made the four-day journey in aid of Barretstown, a speciallyp-designed activities camp for children with serious injuries.
George Bowman, who has been British national champion 19 times, led Team Bowman along the highways and byways from Limerick to Dublin, retracing the steps of the coaching era, setting off on Monday 21 September.
Mr Bowman said: “The trip was very successful, it took a lot of organising but was well worth it.
“We are already planning the next trip in spring and hope to make these bi-annual events.
“We’re still not sure exactly how much was raised as donations are still coming in and everyone has been so generous.”
Team Bowman marketing director Tracey Dawes said: “We had the Mayor of Limerick on with us for the first leg of the journey — he was thoroughly impressed.”
“The coach is called the Molly Malone and did look magnificent with the horses and we had an old fashioned barrel of Guinness on the top — unfortunately it was empty!”
Team Bowman was made up of 22 people, 17 horses and three horse transporters with trailers, and was accompanied by a film crew and photographer.
“At each stop the locals were very welcoming and there was a lot of support for us on the road — many people beeping their horns and shouting hello at us,” said Tracey. “People were generous with donations for Barretstown.
“We did complete the journey on schedule and arrived in Dublin on Thursday as planned. We then did a trip around the city with the Mayor of Dublin on board and we had Steve Collins the Irish boxer with us who accompanied us on horseback as a highwayman and collected money and handed out leaflets.”
The team is now counting how much money was raised before handing it over to Barretstown.