Longford student prepares for
Mongolia challenge

As the school calendar winds down and the evenings get steadily longer, eyes will undoubtedly start turning towards the summer holiday season.

As the school calendar winds down and the evenings get steadily longer, eyes will undoubtedly start turning towards the summer holiday season.

For Longford student Robin McManus the next few weeks will be very much divided between juggling a hectic exam timetable whilst also putting the finishing touches to a five week journey across 18 different countries.

Accompanied by his two friends, Tristram Hills and Grant Dawson, the Newtownforbes medical student plans on travelling all the way to Mongolia in a so-called ‘patient transport van’.

Organised by UK based charity ‘Go Help’, volunteers keen on doing their bit for worthy causes can undertake a gruelling 10,000 mile roadtrip to the central Asian outpost of Mongolia.

In return, the group are required to provide a vehicle which can then be used to provide vital ambulance services to the local population.

“It was an idea that I came up with a while back,” said an excited sounding Robin earlier this week. “We have since managed to get our hands on a Fiat Diablo which we will be taking with us.”

Fitted with a two litre engine and 16,000 miles on the clock, the Newtownforbes native is quietly optimistic of making the journey with few, if any, hiccups.

Asked who was likely to be behind the wheel come July 6, when the group set off, the reply was overwhelmingly upbeat.

“I’ll be doing most of the driving. We think we will be fine until we get to Siberia where the road network might just not be that great. The Russian border could also present some problems, but we’ll just see,” he said.

Given the fact all three are third year students at Dublin’s Royal College of Surgeons, Robin said the group wanted to continue that theme over the course of their five week journey.

“We decided on the name ‘The Omega Three’,” said the son of Eoin and Geraldine. “It’s funny in that the day we finish our exams, we are literally going to head home and then set off in the van.”

Perhaps, just perhaps, the 26-year-old has been given a new meaning to the term ‘summer holidays’.