By Lynda O’Donoghue Donnelly,
Tallaght parenting blogger achieved his goal to meet The Rebel Girls ahead of International Women’s Day despite major travel disruption in Ireland & the UK Gavin Leonard caught the imagination of travelers, parents and book lovers across the globe this week when he endured a mammoth 14-hour journey from Dublin to London with his wife, Shannon, and their 21-monthold daughter, Jade, to attend a book-signing by the iconic Rebel Girls.
The family, who live in Rathcoole, were forced to make alternative travel arrangements when Ryanair refused to let them board their flight to London. Instead they travelled to Holyhead with Irish Ferries and had to make their way to London via car, train and taxi.
Gavin explained: “The Rebel Girls books are so inspiring and teach girls that they can be whatever they want – an ethos which is very close to my heart and the whole reason I started blogging. We read Good Nights Stories for Rebel Girls to Jade all the time and couldn’t pass up an opportunity to meet the authors.”
Gavin live-tweeted their journey and, to his amazement, received messages from people across Ireland and the UK, and even as far away as America. His story also caught the eye of Perez Hilton, author Lynne Bradley and The Rebel Girls themselves, Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli, who tweeted the Tallaght man encouragement throughout the trek.
Gavin said: “It seemed we were destined to miss the event but the support and encouragement we received on social media really pushed us on. It was amazing that they took the time to tweet and us and say they were looking forward to meeting us, when we got there they were fantastic with Jade and it is a trip that none of us will forget – what started out as a nightmare turned into an absolute Fairytale!”
To mark International Women’s Day, and as an ode to Rebel Girls, Gavin wrote a Fairytale blog piece about their trip: Not Just a Princess – A Fairytale for Our Time.