The Bantry Bay Lions hosted the inaugural “Bed Push Race” on Sunday, June 19 in the Slob Car Park in Bantry. This was an event comprising 14 teams who competed in a knockout format to race around a course in a bed. There would be one person in the bed and 4 people pushing it through a course constructed with bales of hay which were procured by Lion Dolf D'hondt. The beds were sourced by Lions Jerry Harrington and Dolf, with the latter instrumental in making them ready for racing. It was a hotly contested event with the Bantry Fire Department and Pat McSweeney Engineering teams making it to the final.  In a very close race, the Pat McSweeney Engineering came out on top. Pictured are the winning team members with the Cup. Please note that the baby was not in the race. In the background are Lions President Marion Rouse with Lions Aaron Buckley and Nora Lynch, the main event organisers.

Bed Push Winners Pat McSweeney Engineering with Lions President Marion Rouse, Lion Aaron Buckley and Lion Nora Lynch


This event was a huge success, made possible by generous sponsors, enthusiastic competitors, many volunteers and supportive spectators. The Lions Club would like to say a big thank you to all involved. Founder members of the Bantry Lions Club Phyl and Ernie Lewis participated in the opening ceremonies. Gearoid O’Leary did his usual excellent job of announcing. Terence Gibbs was the DJ, Matt Lawlee provided singing and comedy and Irish Dancing was arranged by Theresa O’Donoghue. At the end of the race a raffle draw was made and 1st Prize of the Rowa €200 Supervalu hamper and 2nd Prize of €100 cash were won by the Box of Frogs. When they were notified of winning the prizes they very generously donated them both back to the Lions Club, a terrific gesture. There were 13 prizes given out, all provided by sponsors. With bbq sales, raffle ticket sales and donations a figure in the region of €3300 has been raised, after accounting for expenses. A terrific result. This money will be used to fund a Suicide Awareness Drop-in Centre in Bantry and other Lions charities. In summary, this wasn’t just a charity event but also a real boost to so many locals’ mental health which ties perfectly back in with the end goal of the project too. It brought people together at a time when it was well needed
Sponsors were Bantry Credit Union, Rowa Pharmaceutical, Jimmy the Chef, Cronin’s Ballylickey, Drinagh (Lyons), Future Forest, JJ Crowley, Stuffed Olive, Uncle Pete’s Pizza, Supervalu, Coakley’s Paint Shop, Joan Carroll & Friends, Quills Bantry, Forest and Flock, Bantry Hardware, Murphy’s Shoe Shop, Maritime Hotel, West Lodge Hotel, O’Donoghue’s Butchers, Lidl Bantry, Biggs Cash & Carry, Drinagh Farm Stores, Cohen’s Chemist and the Quays Bar.  
Competitor teams were Uncle Pete’s Pizza, Supervalu, Wiseman’s, Crocon Engineers, Forest & Flock, Box of Frogs, Bantry Fire Department, Collins Landscaping, Bantry Kelp Forest, Dromleigh Construction, Pat McSweeney Engineering, Kealkil Men’s Shed, English Bus and Bantry Blues.  
Raffle winners were Box of Frogs (twice), David O’Sullivan, Roisin Hampton, Brid O’Leary, Mary Connelly, Mary Foskin, L Wall, Nula Barry, Lillian Darcy, Denis Allen, Valerie Daly, Eoin Collins. A big thank you to all who purchased tickets.
As an adjunct to the event, there was a double decker bus in the car park with quite an interesting history. In 1969, nine young English men in their early twenties decided to travel around the world using this bus, a journey that took 3 years. The upper deck was converted into beds and the bus has toured several countries since then raising money for charities. A film of their journey was shown to a packed house in the Cineplex the night before and was very well received. Half of the funds raised in Bantry will be donated to the Lions Suicide Awareness Drop-in Centre. Amount to be communicated later.  
Provided by John Dervan, PRO – Bantry Bay Lions Club