Champagne corks were popping in Dore last Sunday as Hughie Gallagher arrived home from an epic 360 non-stop round trip to Dublin and home to raise funds for Ionad Phadraig in Dore.
The keen cyclist left Dore on Saturday at 2pm and arrived at the Spike on O’Connell Street in the capital at 1am. He posed for two minutes to allow people to take pictures before cycling home.
His wife Brid Harley and her brother Padraig were the Stranacorkra man’s only company during the journey which took 23 hours and fifteen minutes. “Brid drove the car and Padraig handed me food during the journey. I had to eat every thirty minutes whether I liked to or not. They handed me dried fruit, porridge and fruit as I cycled. I also had to drink every 50 minutes,” Hughie said.
Hugh encountered the most difficult part of his journey when temperature began to plummet to six degreees during Saturday night. However, hours later Hughie’s heart lifted when he turned at the base of the Errigal mountain and arrived in Dunlewey. “I was delighted when I got as far as Dunlewey because I knew that I only had a few miles to go. That was a great feeling,” he said.
A cavalcade had greeted Hughie in Letterkenny and other people had joined in the cavalcade as Hughy progressed home. However, Hughie was not prepared for the huge number of people who were gathered in Ionad Dhobhair preparing to give him a well deserved hero’s welcome following his epic journey.
Hughie was inspired to undertake the journey when he called up to the well attended Ionad on one occasion. “I was waiting on Brid when I began to read a notice which displayed how much money was still left to raise for the Ionad. Mary Coyle and her team in the Ionad do so much for the community so I decided that I would like to do something to help them, I don’t think that it has ever been done before so I am very happy to have completed it,” he said.
Anyone who would like to support Hughie in his efforts to raise money can do so by asking for a sponsor card at local post offices or call into Ionad Dhobhair where they will be more than happy to help you.