July 1 – youth power, Jesus, media interviews and momentum

I had my first decent night’s sleep in ages last night. Up I got early and straight into writing a blog, which in the end I abandoned. Some flow, some don’t, but today was a great day.


A few friends had generously offered to chip in a few quid to help me with my trip. I’m genuinely skint and in debt so this trip is a bit of a financial cliff hanger and I need to cover rent and bills when I’m away, as well as some equipment and costs on the way. A man’s gotta eat! So the offers were hugely appreciated but I had no obvious way of receiving donations other than PayPal which not everyone likes. Thankfully a local Galway organisation, iDonate.ie, –www.idonate.ie/hitchingforhope – came to the rescue and got me set-up in no time at all this morning. I then sent off an email update to my contacts letting them know what I’m up to and was blown away by the kindness, generosity and donations I got from people throughout Ireland. Honestly, I was seriously humbled by the tweets, facebook messages, emails, texts and calls. Thanks everyone!


I ended up so busy this morning I almost forgot to meet Ross from the Dublin to Galway bus. Ross is a young guy I’ve never met but was was connected to me via David Patterson via Lydia Campbell-Kiernan, both of whom I’ve only met once and who heard my appeals via Facebook. They were part of ‘operation get Ruairí the audio device quick’ and saved the day by joining the dots to get Muireann De Barra’s recorder to me in Galway. Fair play folks, true community spirit!


Ross turned out to be a bit of legend. Within 1 minute of chatting to him I knew he’d be my first interview candidate. I wasn’t disappointed. A 16 year old with plenty to say and transmitted and emitted some serious hope for the future. I’ll be posting the video interview online once I get some time.


smallhitch23Later I did a radio interview with Galway Bay FM and another with iRadio. I also got news that the Galway Independent and various other papers are covering Hitching For Hope. More good vibes! Later I interviewed some English cyclists who have been touring the west (making me look like a wimp with my hitching!) and who had plenty to say about their experience visiting Rossport in North Mayo. I also got chatting to young Belfast Christians who are encouraging Galwegians to find hope in Jesus, and an older Galway stall-holder who reckons ‘If people use their initiative and be more positive about life things would be much happier’. His interview is gold. Wait til you see! Videos coming soon once I can find some broadband and some time to sort.

I’m knee deep in emails and admin so need to get on top of that and make more space for the interviewing and hitching. Still just finding my feet but in general a great start to my mission and a great start to July. Loving County Galway too much so need to make sure I leave it. I’m not sure how you measure hope but I’m definitely way more hopeful about our future than I was yesterday. Getting out and about talking to people is refreshing and inspiring. People have lots to say if they have people to listen.



I’m more excited now than ever about this trip. Thanks for all your support and be sure to watch this short video of Ross. Thanks again! x Ruairí