Belfast Telegraph

Charity cycles for tragic Omagh teacher Eamon McClean

Family and friends to raise money in honour of father-of-three who died from a heart attack.

By Ciaran Barnes

The family of a popular Omagh man who died suddenly are using his tragic passing as a springboard to saves the lives of others.

Friends and relatives of Eamon McClean will come together on May 13 to stage two charity cycles and a run/walk in his honour to raise cash for defibrillators for the area.

They have already raised more than £1,000 and hope to surpass a £5,000 target.

The teacher’s widow Roisin Gilheany says it will be a day for everyone.

“We organised the cycling and running events because both were such a part of Eamon’s life,” she explained.

“The day is about remembering him through his passions, but also raising funds to buy defibrillators that could save the lives of others.”

Eamon suffered a fatal heart attack last June just two weeks before his 51st birthday. The day before his death he completed a 5k run and 70k cycle.

The dad of three young boys was found in his office at the Speedwell Trust near Dungannon. Eamon was a manager at the cross-community charity, which brings young people together through educational and sporting activities.

His family are well known throughout Tyrone — his father Paddy Joe McClean was one of the ‘hooded men’ who were tortured by the army at the beginning of the Troubles.

One of his 11 siblings Ciaran was a Green Party candidate for West Tyrone in last year’s Assembly elections.

Eamon’s wife Roisin said her husband would be proud of the family’s fundraising efforts in celebration of his life.

Fondly remembering the almost constant smile on his face, she said: “He would see this as a fitting tribute. Eamon would be very proud.”

In preparation for the May 13 cycle, run and walk event the McClean family have asked anyone interested in taking part to attend a registration night on March 30 at 7pm in Arvalee School on the Gortin Road in Omagh.

- Further information on the event can be found at ‘Eamon’s Get Together’ on Facebook, and Twitter @eamonsgt

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