Donegal welcomes Cycle against Suicide

Donegal welcomes Cycle against Suicide
By Matt Brittonmatt.britton@donegaldemocrat.comTwitter @Britpix

This afternoon over 200 orange clad cyclists will arrive into Donegal Town carrying that inspirational message – “It’s OK not to feel OK”.

Jim Breen became extremely aware of many of the social problems in the country after his inspirational appearance on the RTE programme, Secret Millionaire.

For this successful businessman this may well have proved a life changing experience, who has devoted his life ever since to addressing mental health issues, encouraging people to talk and getting a very simple message across - “You know, it really is OK not to feel OK” 

His visit to Donegal will be bitter sweet – on his last visit to Donegal Town less than half an hour after departing tragedy struck. Jim  lost one of his great friends and great supporters,  Brendan O’Connell from Tralee, in a tragic accident in Barnes Gap.

To say that the community was struck silent in sorrow would be an understatement. Within minutes of the tragedy the community converged on the Abbey Vocational School with food, blankets, reorganising accommodation, but most importantly the brought comfort to over 200 people who had just lost a great friend in life. A Kerry man who will always be remembered in Donegal Town.

This year’s cycle will arrived into Ballybofey and Stranorlar yesterday Wednesday next, and after an overnight stay will proceed on to Donegal Town via Fintown and Glenties today.

Anne McGowan from the homestay programme in Donegal town told the Democrat, “We have been overwhelmed with the support we have been shown by the local community – if they decide to bring another 200 with them we will organise the beds. 

The cavalcade will be met on the Diamond in Donegal by the Donegal Community Band and escorted up to the Abbey Vocational School. at approximately 4.00 pm today.

On Friday morning the inspirational Jim Breen will address the students of the school at the Abbey Vocational School.