Galway to host East-West Console suicide awareness cycle

Broadcaster Ray D'Arcy with Console's fundraising manager Ciaran Tighe and top ultra-distance cycling champion Ricky Geoghegan at the launch of the Console East-West Cycle from Celbridge to Galway, which takes place on Saturday June 7. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography.

Broadcaster Ray D'Arcy with Console's fundraising manager Ciaran Tighe and top ultra-distance cycling champion Ricky Geoghegan at the launch of the Console East-West Cycle from Celbridge to Galway, which takes place on Saturday June 7. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography.

More than 250 cyclists will travel through the county to Galway city this Saturday, June 7, at the end of a cross-country journey to highlight the fight against suicide.

The inaugural Console East-West Cycle from Kildare to Galway is being held to highlight the national suicide prevention and bereavement charity’s free 1800 247 247 helpline service.

The cyclists, who include celebrity chef Derry Clarke, will be stopping off in Ballinasloe between 1.30pm and 2pm and Loughrea between 4pm and 4.30pm with volunteers looking to raise funds and awareness for this much-needed service.

The cyclists will be joined in Ballinasloe by Finbarr Walsh, father of teenager Donal Walsh who did so much to highlight suicide awareness among young people. When the cycle hits Galway city, comedian Ed Byrne will be performing for the cyclists and the general public in aid of Console at the Clayton Hotel.

Wise-cracking Ed, who regularly appears on TV shows such as Mock the Week, 8 out of 10 Cats, and Have I got News For You, has vowed to put on a cracking night’s entertainment for Console’s cyclists when they reach their destination. A limited number of tickets are available for this show, which starts at 10pm, and pre-booking is advised by calling Console’s Margaret Tierney on 087 950 0380 or emailing [email protected].

Console founder and CEO Paul Kelly said: “Console’s East-West Cycle is about having fun as well as raising awareness of our free helpline on 1800 247 247, so we are delighted to have Ed on board. We will be handing out Console 1800 247247 wristbands and other information en route so people are aware that hope and help are always available from Console.

“Many of the cyclists are new to the sport, having been encouraged by our top ultra-distance cycling champion Ricky Geoghegan to go from the Couch To Connacht in an eight-week period thanks to his training schedule. We are hoping that members of the public will cheer our intrepid cyclists on at every stage as they travel along the old Dublin to Galway road.

“All funds raised from this cycle will go to ensuring that Console’s services are free and readily accessible, so people in need can get help when they need it most,” said Paul Kelly.

Energy provider Airtricity, Applegreen, and Cuisine de France are among the leading Irish businesses sponsoring the Console East-West Cycle. The charity has full-time counselling centres in Galway (091 769942 ), Cork, Dublin, Wexford, Limerick, Kerry, and Mayo. It also offers services in Kildare and Athlone and has recently opened a service in London. Console can be reached at any time on freephone 1800 247 247 or visit www.console.ie

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