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Achill amputee among team to row Atlantic


Anton McNulty

AN Achill man was one of four former military servicemen who became the first all amputee crew to row more than 5,500km across the Atlantic Ocean.
Patrick Gallagher (30) from Dugort in Achill Island arrived at the island of Antigua last week after leaving the Canary Islands in December to embark on the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.
Nearly seven weeks later, Gallagher and his three colleagues Cayle Royce, Nigel Rogoff and Lee Spencer arrived in the Caribbean to become the first all amputee team to complete the demanding transatlantic voyage.
The Achill native was a member of the Irish Guards serving in Afghanistan when he lost his right leg below the knee in an IED blast in 2009. He joined the British Army in 2007 after moving to the UK when he was in his 20s and served a three month tour of duty in Iraq in 2007.
Following the loss of his leg in Afghanistan, Gallagher returned to the UK where he is receiving treatment for his injuries. As part of his recuperation, he has partaken in a number of extreme events including sailing in the Arctic Circle.
The team was one of 29 crews who took part in the transatlantic race. Spokeswoman for the team Lucy Northmore said the men faced extremely tough conditions during the race and burned about 8,000 calories daily.
They relied on expedition food packs which are high in calories for sustenance while rowing two hours on, two hours off, for 24 hours a day.
The men used the race to raise funds for Help for Heroes, Blesma, Prince Harry’s Endeavour fund and Row2Recovery - all charities that provide rehabilitation to men and women injured during military service.