Alan to lead 2,000km charity cycling challenge

Posted in Connect on June 4, 2019.

Pictured (above) is Alan, Simon and Jonathon.

ROBOTIC milking specialists and Lely Center Mullingar co-owner/founder, Alan Heaney, who hails from Swinford, is leading a group of four endurance cyclists on a massive five-day 2,000km ultra cycling challenge this month.

Starting from Lourdes in the south of France, up through France, across the English Channel (by ferry), over England and Wales, across the Irish Sea (by ferry) and down west to Knock, the four will go from start to finish in just five days.

The challenge, which is for two charities, gets underway on Tuesday, June 18.

Cyclists completing the challenge are Garry Bigley (Kiltimagh), Jonathon Verry (Crossmolina), Maurice Dore (Westmeath)) and Alan Heaney, from Killasser.

This is an extremely tough, mental and physical challenge and along with cycling up to 400km per day, they will be roughing it at night and sleeping in small tents on the side of the road.

They are doing it for two very worthy charities – Down Syndrome West and Raising Awareness of anxiety and depression in farming. The event is self-financed so 100% of monies collected will go directly to the two charities.

Down Syndrome West are based in Swinford. They were donated a house and some land by Máirt Cambell, who also donated 25% of his will so that his home could be transformed in to a centre for all of Connaught to advance the daily outcomes for people and their families with Down Syndrome.

The intention is to make the house fully accessible with a playground and use it as the west of Ireland’s focal point for the community.

Raising Awareness for depression and anxiety in farming families – we all know of the isolation, weather stresses, financial pressures, etc., that occurs on many Irish farms and some really struggle with mental health and wellbeing. Last year’s beautiful sunny weather, which may have being a God send for most ordinary people, actually placed financial, physical and emotional strain on many small to medium sized farms which unfortunately resulted in many farmers struggling with their mental health.

An online fundraising page has been set up, and the lads are asking you to please spread the word, share on Facebook, Twitter, whatsapp, etc., as any small contribution will be kindly appreciated.

Anyone who would like to donate to these worthy causes please use this link – – or the bank a/c IBAN: IE16 BOFI 9054 8328 9629 06 BIC: BOFIIE2D.

You can also follow their journey on Facebook at

This is the group’s third big charity cycle. Last year they completed the UK’s Lands End to John O Groats (1,600km in four days) and the year before was Mizen to Malin Head (600km in 23 hours).

Source: The Connaught Telegraph, 4th June 2019

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