Fourth annual Ireland cycle and climb for Chernobyl

The fourth annual cycle and climb to Croagh Patrick for Chernobyl Aid Ireland will take place on August 17.

Oughterard’s Gerard Geoghegan of CAI, and fellow cyclist John Keaney, will swap their racing bikes for 40-year-old Raleigh men’s bikes, when the group heads to Mayo for the event.

The cycle and climb has become a major fundraising initiative for the Galway outreach group of Chernobyl Aid, and will see them travel to Croagh Patrick by bicycle, climb the Reek, and cycle back to Oughterard in one day.

“This is our fourth year to run this very popular event, but some of us will be doing it on these old bikes - the same bicycles which the local men cycled to the Reek on the annual climb on the last Sunday in July many years ago,” said Gerard Geoghegan.

“With oil prices over $140 a barrel, I think that those bikes could make a comeback.”

In July 2006, The Galway group of CAI started work on an orphanage in Smorgon in northwestern Belarus. Untouched since it was built 47 years ago, the orphanage needed complete renovation. The group’s aim is to refurbish the 46 bedrooms, replace more than 300 windows, and replace all the old light fittings with new energy efficient lights.

“To date, we have replaced about half the windows, refurbished all but eight of the bedrooms, replaced the roof on one wing, costing €50,000 that was completed last October with the help of two other groups with which we work closely,” Geoghegan added.

“This year, we aim to complete the remainder of the bedrooms and we will also have a new dentistry up and running by the end of September.”

Work is still continuing in Grozova Orphanage with the refurbishment of classrooms costing €2,000 each. The group also sends aid to the abandoned babies’ home in Slutsk.

To sponsor a bedroom, classroom, or to join the cycle and climb, contact Dennis on (091 ) 552279 or Gerry on 087 2672371 or e-mail [email protected]

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