Fundraiser revisits the eighties to set a new World Record

Ready to Rock the Boat…pictured at the launch were (back – from left) Adam Grant, Bardon; Tennis Coach Mike Geraghty, and Breda Crehan-Roche, CEO, Ability West, with (front) Michael Duke, Community Development Officer, Ability West; Will L'Franc, Bardon, and John McGuire from Fat Tony’s Barber Shop.
Ready to Rock the Boat…pictured at the launch were (back – from left) Adam Grant, Bardon; Tennis Coach Mike Geraghty, and Breda Crehan-Roche, CEO, Ability West, with (front) Michael Duke, Community Development Officer, Ability West; Will L'Franc, Bardon, and John McGuire from Fat Tony’s Barber Shop.

The nightclub staple of the seventies and eighties is being dusted down by a group of Galway enthusiasts – inspired by Channel 4’s Derry Girls – with the aim of setting a new world record and raising funds for a worthy cause.

The end result, they hope, will be a Guinness World Record for the largest ever ‘Rock the Boat’, which will take place on June 15 on the Salthill Prom.

And the endeavour hopes to raise funds for Ability West, a charity that aims to empower adults and children with intellectual disabilities to live self-directed lives.

To succeed, they will need 1,702 people to take part to defeat the current record by one person, which was set in June 2013 in Carrick-on-Shannon.

Leading the attempt are Galway record-breakers Mike Geraghty and Michael Duke. Michael participated in an attempt to break the record last year, which was short by 200 people.

“We’re hoping to get 2,000 people there on the day. The attempt last year failed, but it definitely raised awareness about Ability West,” said Michael.

“Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Executive of Ability West, thought it would be a good idea to go for it again so I offered to chair the Rock the Boat Committee and I got Mike involved.”

Mike Geraghty was previously part of a duo that broke two world records for the longest non-stop competitive doubles tennis match in 2003 (26 hours) – and again in 2005 (36 hours) after his original record was broken.

Michael broke the world record in the seventis for the longest time spent standing on one leg, clocking in eight and a half hours.

“We don’t want to just break the record, we want to smash it,” said Mike. “We want to make it as difficult as possible for the next group to attempt it to break it.”

“The overall aim is to make people more aware of the work that Ability West does. We’ve gotten Nicola Coughlan (who plays Clare in Derry Girls) to make a promo video for the event, which we are delighted with.

In a recent episode of the second season of Derry Girls, the group are at a wedding when Rock the Boat by Hues Corporation plays, which many viewers said was the epitome of an Irish wedding.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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