A CHARITY cycle undertaken by five Kerrymen from Brandon in Kerry to Lisheen in West Cork last July in memory of two cousins raised over €9,000 for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), a charity that provides support to patients and families who have lost someone to sudden cardiac death.
The cycle was held in honour of both Brian Houlihan from Church Cross – a 18-year-old Leaving Cert student at Skibbereen Community School – who died suddenly on July 25th last year and his 38-year-old cousin Mark Houlihan from Brandon who died suddenly on January 16th 2015.
‘It was Brendan Hoare from Brandon, who is a cousin of both, who came up with the idea of the cycle to remember his two cousins,’ said Martin Houlihan, father of the late Brian.
‘Mark’s father had cycled from Kerry to West Cork almost 60 years ago so it seemed very appropriate for them to carry out a similar route.’
The five cyclists – Brendan Hoare, Mike O’Sullivan, Diarmuid Keane, Shane and John Flynn – set off from Cloghane / Brandon Community Centre on July 21st for the 170km cycle, with a support van behind them. It took them seven hours before they were welcomed by a huge party at Minihane’s Bar in Lisheen later that day, with one group of Cork cyclists joining the five cyclists for the last leg of the cycle.
‘We had a great response from people in both communities to sponsoring the cyclists and sponsor cards were left in most places including Drinagh Co-op and our local veterinary practice.’
Martin added that CRY were delighted with the cheque for €9,188.88 and told them that it was the biggest cheque they have received bar one family in Limerick who donate to the charity every year.
‘We all went to CRY at Tallaght Hospital, including all our cousins on both sides to get tested to see if we have any similar cardiac conditions and the charity carries out tremendous work there so it was great to fundraise for them. We presented the cheque to Tommy Fagen of CRY Ireland at the Meadowlands Hotel in Tralee at the end of August.’