Cyclist braves Wild Atlantic Way in memory of late brother

first_imgClare man Gerard O Connell has taken on a remarkable charity cycle to support Pieta House in Ireland and Mind in the UK.These charities are close to Gerard as he lost his younger brother Eoin to suicide 32 years ago when he was just 20 years old.The first leg of the mammoth cycling challenge took place between Cork and Kerry in February, with the second leg taking him through Clare, Galway and Mayo in April. Now, Gerard prepares for the final leg, which will take him from Sligo Town, snaking around the breathtaking coast of Donegal, and finishing in Derry City on Sunday.Magnificent support from family, friends, cycling clubs, parishes, county teams, and local small businesses have helped raise a whopping €8,454 so far.Gerard explained what makes this cycling challenge so important. “It is in memory of my younger brother Eoin, aged just 20, who took his own life 32 years ago on 2nd January 1985. An option too many others have also chosen.“I want to make a difference.“You can make a difference by joining the ride. Be part of an exciting cycle adventure and help save lives. Ride, volunteer, fundraise or donate. Spread the word. Give a friendly wave or toot the horn when you see the ride. Follow progress on Facebook with daily updates from the road. The aim is to raise €30,000.“Pieta house estimates that it costs on average €1,000 to provide an effective service for one individual so together we can provide the means to save 30 lives.“The numbers are shocking — 55,000 per year in the EU take their own lives with an estimated 10 times that number making an attempt. In 2014 alone, the statistics indicate 459 suicides in Ireland and 6122 in the UK.“There are wide regional and other variations. Men, for instance, are three times more likely to take their own lives than women. It is commonly acknowledged by professionals that official statistics underestimate the true number of suicides.Last Sunday Gerard reached the Coolest Place on the Planet, cycling through Donegal Town, Killybegs, Carrick, Sliabh Liag, Malinbeg, Glencolmcille and over the Glen Geish pass to finish the day at Nancy’s in Ardara. Joined by Slaney, Katie, Eileen, Barry, Adie, Paul, Kevin, Tadhg, and Ken, Gerard says it was an uplifting day with wonderful company.Gerard then made his way towards Letterkenny, escorted by Tadhg Dineen and led to Pat’s on the Square for a delicious Italian feast.Gerard shares his motto, an inspirational quote from Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle:“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”If you would like to help, donations can be made at : Kilkee, Co Clare. Start of stage 10 Kilkee to Kinvara on Sun 2nd April. Stage length 135km. Family & friends – old and new. Riders from Killimer, Kilrush, Kilkee, Doonbeg, Cree and cousin Pat Hassett from London. Gearoid in center wearing maroon & yellow West Clare CC jersey with Eileen GriffinSpin for Mind, Body & Soul at Auburn Lodge, Ennis Co Clare. A rest day on Fri 7th April before stage 12 Galway to Roundstone. Spin for 8 hours. Wonderful staff of Auburn lodge and facing the camera, Councillor Bill Chamber, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Colm Collins – Clare football manager, Gearoid and EileenRoundstone, Co Galway. Start of stage 13 Roundstone to Letterfrack on Sun 9nd April. Stage length 149km. New friends from 12 Bens Cycling Club organised by Dermot O’Donovan Head of the GMIT “furniture college” in Letterfrack.HSE Galway. Coffee, awareness and fundraising by the very generous staff of HSE at the Dangan Business Park organised by Maurice Mulcahy – second from right. Gearoid & Eileen wearing Pieta House t-shirtsCyclist braves Wild Atlantic Way in memory of late brother was last modified: August 4th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:gerard o connellmindPIeta HouseWild Atlantic Waylast_img read more

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