Into the West for charity cycle

Two Longford men are about to embark on an ambitious bicycle journey which will take them from Ballymahon to Castlebar in Co Mayo and on to Galway, and they’re doing it all in the name of charity.

Two Longford men are about to embark on an ambitious bicycle journey which will take them from Ballymahon to Castlebar in Co Mayo and on to Galway, and they’re doing it all in the name of charity.

Ken Kerrigan and Donal Madden will set out from Cooney’s Hotel in Ballymahon on Friday, May 10 on a three-day journey which they hope will raise funds for cancer research.

“We’re leaving from Cooney’s at around 10.30am on the Friday morning,” Ken explains. “From there we’ll cycle west and we hope to arrive at Breaffy House in Castlebar that evening.”

But far from taking time to enjoy the pastoral surroundings of the Co Mayo hotel, it will be early to bed for the two cyclists, as the next morning will see them hit the road again on the next stage of their journey.

“We’ll be on the road to Galway at around 10.00am the following morning,” Ken continues. “It’ll be another long trek for us down to Galway city, where we’re expected to arrive at the Salthill Hotel. The next day we’ll make the return trip to Ballymahon and we’ll hopefully back at Cooney’s at around 5 or 6pm. Over the three days, we’ll travel around 300km”

Explaining why he chose cancer research as the charity to benefit from the cycle, Ken said it’s an area that’s close to his heart. “My mother died from cancer 20 years ago,” he admitted. “The staff at the hospitals in Mullingar and St Luke’s did great work for her, and this is a way of thanking them”

There will also be a fundraiser held in Cassidy’s Olde Village Inn in Drumlish in connection with the men’s cycle challenge. “We’ll be holding a special night on June 2nd and we’ll have music by Noel Briody. There’ll be a collection at the door, where people can donate whatever they wish to the cause, and there’ll be prizes up for grabs on the night.”