Stars align for skin charity’s digital detox Kerry Challenge

Hollywood star and Debra Ireland supporter Colin Farrell with Emma Fogarty before their recent Late Late Show appearance. Adventurous spirits can join Debra’s inspirational Kerry Challenge from May 24 to 26th, see for more information.

Adventurous spirits are being sought to take on a digital detox challenge with some real social climbing, to help the skin charity highlighted by Hollywood star, Colin Farrell, and patient advocate, Emma Fogarty, on RTE’s Late Late Show.

Emma’s moving description of living with the severe form of the butterfly skin condition EB (epidermolysis bullosa) which leaves 80% of her body covered in open wounds, touched the hearts of TV audiences at Christmas.

Now she is calling on adventurous souls to join skin charity Debra Ireland’s digital detox Kerry Challenge.

“The Kerry Challenge is an event that has real heart and soul, it’s incredible fun, like being invited to a great big family wedding,” said Emma.

The challenge runs from May 24-26 and includes three days of trekking though the beautiful Dingle Peninsula (up to 25km per day) followed by nights of craic in lively Dingle pubs while staying in a four-star luxury hotel.

“It’s a chance to turn off your phone, gain some headspace and connect with some great new people instead,” said Emma, who attends the challenge weekend despite her health difficulties.

Debra Ireland supports people with EB (epidermolysis bullosa) also known as butterfly skin.

This rare and incredibly painful genetic condition causes the skin, both inside and out, to blister and wound at the slightest touch.

Debra’s 75km three-day trek, is suitable for everyone from seasoned runners to first-time ramblers.

The charity is encouraging participants to take a screen break that will help them and those living with EB.

“While our smart phones are very useful devices, they do have their downsides,” said Judith Gilsenan, Head of Fundraising for Debra Ireland.

“A recent study by UK communications regulator OfCom showed 43% of users admitting to spending to too much time online and more than half (54%) admitted that connected devices interrupt face-to-face conversations with friends and family.”

“This is an opportunity to forego social media and enjoy some real social interaction for a truly good cause.

“Along with the craic, people find huge inspiration when they meet EB patients such as Emma, and discover their huge courage living with this very distressing condition.”

The event costs €300 per person, which includes two nights’ accommodation in the four-star Dingle Skelligs Hotel, all meals and snacks, transport to and from the route each day and on-site physiotherapy.
Participants are also asked to raise a further €350 for the charity, which provides support services for those living with EB.

“All proceeds from the event go towards helping people living with EB, we want people to dump their phones for Debra and enjoy a weekend making new friends and taking in the beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way,” said Judith.

To register or find out more about Debra’s Kerry Challenge, May 24-26, see, email or call (01) 412 6924.

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