BY JACKIE KEOGH
A GROUP of intrepid cyclists set themselves the challenge of cycling from Malin Head to Mizen Head in just four days.
In doing so, the group of friends – two of whom travelled all the way from New York to be part of the adventure – raised much-needed funds for the West Cork charities Cancer Connect and the Centre of Mental Health and Recovery at Bantry General Hospital, as well as the Leukaemia Association in Cork.
The group – consisting of John Joe Bowen from Ahakista, Dominic O’Sullivan from Bantry, brothers Johnny and James O’Sullivan, who are originally from Kilcrohane but now live in New York, and James Scully from Tuosist in Kenmare – set out on Monday, August 22nd.
Although they had set themselves a punishing schedule, the group surpassed their daily targets and were joined by friends and supporters who travelled the last leg of the 416-mile journey with them from Durrus to Mizen Head, where they arrived at 5.30pm on Thursday, August 26th to a fantastic reception. The group had an initial fundraising target of €3,000 but people are still making donations to the charities. The group chose Cancer Connect because it provides a free, flexible and confidential service transporting people to hospitals in Cork.
Cancer Connect is operated entirely by volunteer drivers and is vital support for the many people who avail of the services to get to the Cork hospitals for either radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment.
They chose the Centre for Mental Health Care and Recovery at Bantry General Hospital because statistics show that one in four people experience some mental health problems in their lifetime.
The Centre provides an acute admission and treatment service to a population of approximately 54,000, spread over the West Cork area.
The third charity to benefit is the Children’s Leukaemia Association. It is a registered charity based in Cork that offers support and assistance to children receiving care at the Children’s Leukaemia Unit at the Mercy Hospital in Cork.