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A Clare man has raised over €10,000 for ISPCC Childline in the space of 100 days.

Michael Casey carried out 100 pull-ups a day for a period of 100 days, all in aid of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) Childline. Donations to the online fundraiser will remain open for another week as the carer does his bit to assist of young people using the service.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Michael admitted he thought the odds were against him as he passed the €9000 mark on day 100 of the fundraiser. However, running an Instagram Live event whereby he did 800 pull-ups over the course of five hours generated plenty of interest and also saw donations climb. Extra challenges such as the addition of 10kg, 20kg and then 25kg coincided with his final 300 pull-ups.

Deciding to do 800 pull-ups on the final day was very poignant, he outlined. “The number 800 is very significant because it is the amount of children that contact the service every day. People will say to do 800 pull-ups in one day is a very big number but it raises awareness of children who reach out to use the service”.

He said, “The figure of 800 is far too much. Parents might not think their child is ringing ISPCC Childline but it is up to them to have the conversation. There is still a mental health stigma, they might feel awkward or embarrassed but you never know who they are talking to on the phone so it is important to have the conversation”. Michael added, “We have to make sure children are okay, they are our future after all. Nothing shapes our future more than childhood so it is very important to give them the most positive childhood we can”.

Days passed that Michael felt quite unmotivated, “you get stronger but it doesn’t get easier. Some days you would wonder if people would notice if I didn’t do it. The different challenges I did for every €1000 raised was a help. The cause was way more important than the pain I felt”.

With a personal best of 23 maximum reps, Michael is keen to bring this up to 30 and has said he won’t be giving up pull-ups anytime soon. For now, he is letting his hands heal after skin ripped during the live challenge, the effects were still felt on Tuesday morning with his hands bleeding when he got off the bike after his fifteen minute cycle to work.

Casey is confident he will host a “bigger and better” fundraiser in the future and committed to having further involvement with ISPCC. “I’d love to raise more awareness for young people, if I take anything from it I would advocate for less privileged groups. I have always advocated that children got the short straw in the lockdown, they were taken out of school, they couldn’t see their friends and they had no sport but they are the lucky ones because the people in abusive homes have it much worse”.

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