Walk While You Can

Fr Tony Coote

Fr Tony Coote, a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin was, in March 2018, diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).  In the coming days he is embarking on a walk from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal to Ballydehob, Co. Cork.  Along the way he is seeking our support and raising awareness around Motor Neurone Diesease.

In his own words he says:

Hi Everyone,

Tony Coote is my name. On the Wednesday of the beginning of the recent snow in Ireland, I was told I had Motor Neurone Disease. Like others who have received such news, I was terrified and my body went into shock. Around this time someone asked me to remember that, ‘the diagnosis is not the prognosis’. I have repeated that in my head as a mantra every day. I have also committed myself to living each day, looking to the future and choosing to live rather than exist.

I am a priest in the Dublin Diocese working in Kilmacud and Mount Merrion parishes. I used to play squash twice a week and was always on the go thinking of the next plan and idea. This illness has slowed me up and for the first time since I was a child I fall over easily and have to watch the ground as I walk.

Since I was diagnosed I realised the only medication is 24 years old and that the Motor Neurone Disease Association can only provide three nurses for the whole country with just over 400 people living with this illness. Their salaries are paid for by church gate collections.

Rather than just complaining about these facts I want to use my time and my voice to do something about it. To this end we invite you to become part of Walk While You Can, to donate,  walk with us, organise a fundraising event or offer accommodation to around 6 of us doing the whole walk.

All funds will be donated for research for new medication RMN and to the IMNDA for the care of those living with the illness.




Fr Tony’s walk through Ireland will see him pass through our Diocese between July 15th (Sligo to Ballisodare), 16th July (Ballisodare to Tubberucrry) and on 17th July as part of a 35KM trek that day from Tubbercurry to Knock.

It would be wonderful if we could offer some support to Fr Tony and his companions on this leg of their journey and, indeed on the road from Ballisodare to Kilkelly.

If you feel you could help organise anything along the way, offer some refreshments, sponsorship etc, please let us know EMAIL

A website has been set up to follow the progress of Tony’s walk “WALK WHILE YOU CAN” and the address is wwyc.ie

This is an incredible undetaking and one worthy of all the support it can receive.  Don’t underestimate the difference you can make.

Tony is also available on twitter @walkwhileyoucan #walkwithtony


If you wish to make a donation to this walk, please do so here