Ten Cyclists From County Down To Cycle Length Of Ireland For Suicide Prevention
On Easter Monday 2022, instead of rolling their eggs, ten friends from County Down will set out on a challenging 400-mile charity cycle in support of suicide prevention.
The starting point is southern County Cork, where they will head north through the Irish countryside, towards Malin Head in Donegal, covering at least 100 miles per day!
As each of the men have known someone who has died by suicide, they decided to set a target of £10,000 to raise funds for the Downpatrick-based charity, Suicide Down to Zero.
The idea was the brainchild of Annacloy man Peter Ritchie, who at first decided to complete the cycle journey alone. Soon after chatting to family and friends he found that nine more people including his brother Donnan wanting to join in.
Peter said: “I have always thought about cycling the length of Ireland and decided that this would be the year. I wanted to raise money for a charity and decided fundraising for Suicide Down to Zero would mean the money will be invested back into the local community.
“Once we all got together to plan the event, we realised that each one of us has been affected by suicide in one way or another.”
Speaking on a local radio station recently, Donnan and Niall Montgomery, another of the cyclists, likened the cycling challenge to life’s journey, with ups and downs, pushing through the tough times and reaching out for support from friends and family.
The cyclists will set off early on Monday 18th April and the men plan to toast their success in Malin Head on Thursday 21st April where most of the hotel and guest house availability has been snapped by their supporters, who are determined to be there to greet their arrival.
Representatives of Suicide Down to Zero will also be there to formally welcome and thank them for giving up this important family time to raise funds for the charity.
Jill Gordon, Secretary of Suicide Down to Zero has been the link person between the charity and the cyclists. She said: “I was delighted when Peter got in touch to tell me about his idea! Their efforts have been amazing in terms of organisation and preparation.
“They are completing this event at their own cost, committed to raising as much money for the charity as possible. It will certainly be a challenge as not all of the people taking part cycle regularly.
“I have no doubt there will be tough points along the road, but I’m sure they will encourage and support each other to keep going. We are really looking forward to welcoming them at the finish line.
“Their dedication and fundraising efforts have been humbling. This money will help raise awareness, provide training for local people to support those struggling with thoughts of suicide, and help us campaign on behalf of our community.”
There is still time to donate and help this fantastic group of friends reach or exceed their target!
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