Belfast Telegraph

Readers' Editor: Inspirational heroism that was born out of tragedy

By Paul Connolly

Papers have a duty to report the news. And news, by definition, is often ‘bad’: the tragedies and the controversies, the economic gloom and the rough and tumble of civic life.

However, newspapers do have a tendency sometimes to overlook ‘good’ news stories.

The Belfast Telegraph has in recent months determined that it will report more of the good news that reflects the rich community spirit here.

And it was one of these stories that provoked the biggest positive reaction of the week.

Health correspondent Lisa Smyth told the inspirational tale of a father who cycled 5,400 |miles across America to fulfil his daughter’s dying wish.

Mark Kelly, aged 60 from Moira, cycled coast-to-coast to raise tens of thousands of pounds for |charities after the death of his 20-year-old daughter.

Margarita lost an eight year battle with cancer last year.

As Mr Kelly said in the Telegraph: “Margarita was so positive. She always said she was going to beat the cancer right up to the night before she died.

“I’ll never forget, she said to me, ‘Daddy, I’m going to die’, but I just couldn’t accept it.

“She asked me to cycle across America to raise money.”

A year later, Mr Kelly, accompanied by family and friends, |fulfilled Margarita’s wish by completing the cycle in a two-month marathon.

Margarita was with him all |the way, Mr Kelly said: “She |was sitting on my shoulder the whole time.”

Reaction to our story was heart-warming, with Mr Kelly hailed as an “inspiration” and a “hero”.

Should you want to donate |to Margarita’s appeal fund, you can do so online at

\[Michael McSwiggan\] and that he denies such ‘charges’</>. But he has not been ‘charged’.

Rather, he was remanded |on foot of an international arrest warrant issued by Swedish |police after Stockholm district court approved a request |to detain Mr Assange for questioning on suspicion of rape, |sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph