Friday, January 26, 2018

Miah is planning a jailbreak

Young Kilcullen woman Miah Phelan is planning a jailbreak during a weekend in March, writes Brian Byrne.

Nope, she's not locked up, but along with her friend and fellow UCC student Ellen O'Regan she will be taking part in the annual Amnesty International and St Vincent de Paul's challenge, Jailbreak 2018, where participating teams have 36 hours to reach a 'Destination X' somewhere in Europe, without spending any of their own money and raising as much as they can for the charities in the process.

The location of Destination X is only revealed over the weekend of the challenge on 10/11 March, in a series of clues released through social media. In previous years these locations have included the famous castle on Lake Bled in Slovenia, Krakow in Poland, and San Marino in Italy

Kicking things off, the pair have a GoFundMe appeal set up where friends, and particularly friends of hers and her family in Kilcullen, can help out.

Daughter of Paula and Mark, Miah has always been a strong achiever, and it's a pretty good bet that she and Ellen will make it to the 2018 Destination. At the moment Miah is studying Law in UCC. While a student in Cross & Passion College she participated in the AIB Build a Bank challenge with her team, Ca$hino Royale. She also captained the CPC hockey team which won a Leinster School Final, and was the first girl from outside south Dublin to captain the Inter Pro League Cup-winning U16 Leinster team, in 2013. She has played Irish Hockey League while a member of Old Alexandra in Dublin. Badminton is also one of her sports interests.

Music has also been a very important part of Miah's life, singing since she was five. In 2009 she won the RTE TV 'Star Search' on The Den children's TV programme with her own song 'Ain't No Way'. An accomplished pianist and violin player, she also plays guitar and writes and performs her own songs.

She recently began contributing articles to, an organisation which celebrates the power of ordinary people to change the world. Her piece was based on a talk with 'No Limbs, No Limits' campaigner Joanne O'Riordan.

Jailbreak is an international students fundraising initiative, the Irish version of which was started in 2013 by a number of student societies in TCD. Now it involves seven third-level colleges in Ireland, and participants have raised over €225,000 for the two charities since it began.