Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Eamonn goes the distance to help disability charity

South Belfast man Eamonn Lynch has taken part in the recent Mizen to Malin Head Elite Cycle Challenge — and raised £2,500 for charity.

Eamonn Lynch has raised a total of £5,000 for charity by cycling from Ireland’ southern most point to the tip of Donegal

His employer, Amey, matched his total, enabling Eamonn to present £5,000 to the charity, Mainstay Downe Residential Project (DRP) which offers a range of care and support services for people with a learning disability.

The engineer works on a consultancy team that is normally found designing road and transportation schemes but for five days, Eamonn was getting first hand knowledge of every bump, pothole and hill on roads the length of Ireland.

He was joined on the 430 mile journey by girlfriend Rochelle Moore and 29 other determined cyclists from across Ireland.

Their journey began on July 8 at the most south-western point of Ireland, Mizen Head in County Cork and took them through some of Ireland’s most picturesque towns and villages to reach the most northerly point of the country, Malin Head in County Donegal where their trek ended on July 13.

The funds raised from this cycle challenge will help Mainstay DRP reach their £3m target for the ambitious ‘Building the Dream’ project — a major new purpose built development for people with learning disabilities planned for Killough Road, Downpatrick.

Eamonn Lynch said: “I’m so happy that I’ve completed the 430 mile journey.

“I’ve not done anything like this before so it was a massive challenge for me but knowing it was all for a good cause kept me going, especially for the last few days.”

Helen Taylor, chief executive of Mainstay DRP, thanked all the sponsors and cyclists who took part. “Thanks to Eamonn for dedicating his free time to tirelessly train and fundraise for the arduous 430 mile cycle.

“The event is the latest sporting challenge organised by the charity’s volunteer fundraisers to enable us to continue our work caring and supporting people with a learning disability in the Co Down area.”

Amey, which maintains a number of major roads for Roads Service such as the M1 and A1, has approached Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, to develop a long term partnership towards the maintenance of the National Cycle Network in Northern Ireland.

They have identified the seven mile Comber Greenway, that runs from Comber to Belfast, as the best place to start.

In 2010 Amey employees spent around 30 volunteer days supporting the general maintenance and tidy up of the cycle path, and the firm has pledged to deliver the same in 2011.

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