The 17 cyclists who rode from Croke Park to Davitt Park in Achill over two days last weekend have described as ‘overwhelming’ the reception they received on their return to Achill.
The 300km Croke Park to Davitt Park Cycle Challenge took place on Saturday, April 14 with 17 cyclists leaving Jones’ Road and arriving back to Achill the following afternoon. The challenge was in aid of Cancer Care West and Achill GAA Bord na n-Óg with up to €6,000 expected to be raised.
The peloton were joined by another dozen cyclists in Ballaghaderreen and Castlebar for the final legs of the journey and were greeted in Davitt Park in Achill by close to 400 well wishers.
Cllr Micheál McNamara who cycled from Croke Park told The Mayo News that the journey was an enjoyable experience and thanked all the people who supported them.
“The 17 cyclists signed up all left Croke Park on Saturday morning and they all reached Achill in one piece. It was an enjoyable experience and even though we had put in hard training, it was not as difficult as we thought it would be. Everything went well for us and some of the more experienced lads thought it was a fantastic event,” he said.
The cyclists rested overnight in Ballaghaderreen and set out on the final leg to Achill arriving at around 2pm. The Bord na nÓg committee had organised a blitz for the day and Cllr McNamara said they were overwhelmed by the welcome.
“I have to say I was surprised by the welcome we got from Mulranny to Achill. It was overwhelming and not what we were expecting. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have taken part in. It may or may not be an annual event but it will be hard to match it if it is.”
Cllr McNamara said he would like to thank Achill GAA, Sweeney’s Super Valu, the Achill Sound Hotel, Dawn Milk, NCF, Paul McLoughlin and the Order of Malta for their help and support.
The money raised by the event will cover the costs of running the underage teams in Achill and the expenses involved in bringing teams around the county. Sponsorship cards are still in circulation in different premises around the parish if they wish to support this worthy cause.
The 17 cyclists were Padraic Corrigan, Shane Ginnelly, Seán Grealis, Tomas Grealis, Edward Johnston, Paul Johnston, Seán Lyons, Marty Mangan, Francis McGreal, Tomas McLoughlin, Conall McNamara, Maeibh McNamara, Micheál McNamara, Dermot Murray, Maurice O’Keeffe, Brian O’Leary and Jason Sheehy.
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