Two well-known Donegal businessmen are taking on a phenomenal challenge this week to raise funds for and awareness of Pieta House, the national centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide.
Joe Coyle from Mountcharles and Thomas Given from Donegal Town will cycle from Mountcharles to Burtonport, walk the islands of Arranmore, Gola and Tory and end up in Downings, then walk for 24 hours from Downings over Meenaroy and the Bluestacks to Mountcharles.
They plan to accomplish this gargantuan feat over the course of three days, setting out from the Green Pump in Mountcharles this Friday at 12 noon and powering on over the course of the weekend.
They hope the funds they raise will help bring the day that Pieta House opens its doors here in the North West closer to being a reality.
As always, the people of Donegal have been generous in their support of their project, even before they've set foot out of Mountcharles.
Joe explained. "Our purpose has been to create the opportunity for those who have an interest, to step up and make a contribution in their own way in support of getting Pieta House Services in the North West. So many people have risen to that challenge in so many different ways.
"For example, Herron Auto provided a demonstrator Kia Sportage for us, highlighting the fact that people can donate €4 simply by texting ph4 to 50300,” he said.
“In addition, Mella Britton of Skin Therapy at Britton's Pharmacy celebrated her 37th year in business by holding a fundraiser for us, and staff at the Blueberry wore our t-shirts for a few days and raised money for us. Also in Donegal town, Simple Simon's held a unique art auction of pieces created by their customers staff and friends, raising more than €910. In Killybegs, Tara White organised a 5k and raised €1,000. And Donegal Motor Club have been phenomenal in their support too.”
After months of intensive training, Joe and Thomas are absolutely delighted to be off to a great start in terms of fundraising.
"It's been fantastic," Joe told the Democrat, "and people all over the county are getting ready to help out over the weekend as well.
"Eamonn O'Donnell will bring us to the islands on Saturday, in his beautiful RIB 'Discovery 2', with help from Patrick Kyles from Burtonport. Mairtin Kelly of Kelly's Centra, Mountaintop, Letterkenny is sponsoring our food and water and joining us for a while on Sunday as well.
"People on Arranmore and Tory and in Downings are organising locals to walk alongside us on Saturday, and we're getting great support for our bucket collection which is being held in almost every town and village in the county on Saturday.
”If there is anyone who can help with this, we'd love to hear from them,” he said.
Find out more at www.go4pieta.ie or the Go4Pieta Facebook page. Text PH4 to 50300 to donate €4 or go to www.idonate.ie/Go4Pieta.