A 51-father of two who completed a 15-day charity cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way has, so far, raised €8,000 which will be used to feed some of the poorest children in the world.
Starting his 2,100km journey in Kinsale on June 3rd, David Heneghan told The Southern Star he had received ‘a sign’ that all would be well.
David, who is originally from Louisburgh in Co Mayo, but has been living in Scotland for the last 12 years, said he was out in his ‘local’ in Balerno, near Edinburgh recently, when a man overheard his conversation and rounded on him saying: ‘Be careful what you say about Bantry.’
It turns out that the man, Dominick Gallagher, who lives in Durrus, offered him a place to stay on the second night of his extraordinary journey from Kinsale to Derry.
‘The odds of such a meeting are long, but it did reinforce my expectation that the Wild Atlantic Way will bring hope to many people,’ said David.
The hope that David is referring to is the money he hopes to raise for Mary’s Meals in Malawi, as well as the Irish Cancer Society.
David said his reason for raising money for the Irish Cancer Society is to honour the memory of his father, Sean, who died from cancer in April 2015, as well as his mam, Maree, who died in March of this year.
David, who is a management consultant, said that being with his mother in the final months of her illness was an inspiration.
He said: ‘Her grace and gentleness through her cancer journey made me even more proud to be her son. I miss her every day and it is my intention to remember her on every one of the 2,100km that I cycle as I raise money for cancer research.’
It was actually in 2015, after his dad died, that David first went to Malawi and saw for himself the great work that Mary’s Meals does for the children living there.
When he returned home he started raising money for the organisation and developed a working relationship with a school in Glasgow that sends students every year to build and renovate classrooms in Malawi.
This time, he is planning to provide funds directly for Mary’s Meals, which is an international organisation that provides nutritious meals for children who go to school.
‘To see these children, who are living in the third poorest country in the world, smiling and happy to be in education inspired me to come home and do something to help. It is the most nutrition these children get and it encourages them to stay in school, which can only be good for their future.
‘One of the boys that I met when I was in Malawi was called Hope so that’s what I decided to call my charity cycle, Hope on the Wild Atlantic Way.’
David said: ‘If I raise the £6,000 or €7,000 for Mary’s Meals it will feed 430 children for a full school year. And that’s all the motivation I need.’
Anyone who would like to make a donation can go to the justgiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/hopewaw.