The impossible made possible as Peter Ryan’s 586km Run finishes on World Sight Day

Peter Ryan is running and holding a water bottle to the left of the image. In the middle is the logo for the event which is designed as a large black footprint.

Thursday 12th October 2023, NCBI, Irelands national sight loss agency, would like to extend its congratulations and thanks to former Paralympian Peter Ryan for his extraordinary efforts to support the charity. Peter, on World Sight Day, will complete the unthinkable – a 586km run from the tip of Ireland at Malin Head to the toe of Ireland at Mizen Head to raise vital funds to support the mobile Vision Van service.

Spurred on by supporters around Ireland, who included Mark Pollock and Robbie Henshaw, Peter set off from Malin Head in Co Donegal on October 8th and battled adverse weather and terrain, running over 100km on each day of his five-day challenge, to reach Mizen Head on World Sight Day which is a hugely significant day on the calendar each year for NCBI.

Peter began losing his sight at the age of 19 to Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy and understands the importance of managing eye health, the need for regular checks and the support NCBI can provide to people who are experiencing sight loss.

Aaron Mullaniff, Chief Services Officer at NCBI, offered his gratitude to Peter and his team for achieving something that many thought would be impossible. Mr Mullaniff said: “Firstly, I want to offer Peter Ryan an enormous congratulations and thank him for the sacrifices he has made over the last five days and in the weeks and months leading up to this challenge. It shows the measure of the man, and the determination he has, whilst challenging societal perceptions around blindness and vision impairment in the process.

“Secondly, the vital funds Peter has raised with his run from Malin to Mizen will be the catalyst for the amazing Vision Van project which champions the importance of prevention when it comes to citizens’ eye health in this country – a message that ties in perfectly to the significance of World Sight Day. After Peter enjoys a much-deserved rest following this unbelievable achievement, we can’t wait to work with him again to see how far we can spread the message that he embodies and the important message surrounding the need for us all to keep on top of our eye health”

Ahead of his run Peter Ryan said: “When I began losing my sight at 19, I needed to find a new purpose, and sport was it. I love pushing my body to the limit and this challenge, running from Malin to Mizen in just five days, has been the next big focus.

“I received huge support from NCBI upon my diagnosis which has enabled me to learn a new way of living. I am taking on this challenge as a way of giving back to the charity, to raise awareness about vision loss and impairment and to challenge the stigma that is associated with disability.

“By undertaking this ultra-endurance challenge, I hope to raise as much money as I can for the NCBI to continue the fantastic work they do, empowering people with blindness and vision impairment to maintain their independence and live their lives as I do.”

The message of this year’s World Sight Day is to #LoveYourEyes and is focussing on the importance of eye care in the workplace. This is an especially relevant topic given the support Peter has received from his employer Campion Insurance, who has not only supported him with his vision impairment but has also sponsored his ‘tip to toe’ run this week. We would encourage all employers and workplaces to follow this lead and really begin to think about the importance of eye health and care for their employees and how that support could transform the performance and overall wellbeing for their workforce.

The Vision Van, which will be Ireland’s first mobile information and eye health awareness unit, could, in time, be a huge support for employers in this space. The van will travel across the country, providing information on eye conditions, awareness and support services to local communities and areas in which current eye health services may be harder to reach.

Peter’s run will finish at Mizen Head on the evening of October 12th and members of the public are encouraged to be there for when Peter arrives to give him the giant cheer and round of applause that he deserves for such an amazing feat. Follow Peter’s journey and information about the finish line location through his social media at @petersvision01 or and show your support by using #PetersRun.

Members of the public can still donate to Peter’s fundraising efforts by visiting or on Peter’s iDonate page.