A Corofin native is among 30 friends and work colleagues of a County Donegal man who is currently battling cancer will this week embark on a 350-kilometre charity cycle along Ireland’s western seaboard to raise funds for Friend’s of St Luke’s and Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust.
‘Tour for Shaun 2014’ is inspired by 26-year-old Shaun Doherty, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin-Lymphoma in 2011.
The charity cycle will see the group, which includes Declan Keane from Corofin, travel through counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, and Donegal during the June Bank Holiday Weekend.
Many of the cyclists participating in the fundraiser are based in London where Civil Engineer Shaun relocated to from his home village of Clonmany five years ago having graduated with a BSc Hons. in Construction Management from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. During a trip home to Donegal in August 2011, Shaun was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 24 and has been battling his way back to full health ever since.
Speaking ahead of the charity cycle, Shaun said: “What the guys have achieved here is simply remarkable. They have humbled me from the first day of my diagnoses with offers of help from London and opened my eyes to just how important good friends are. It has been amazing following the progress and ever-building momentum of Tour for Shaun from Donegal, and indeed from St. James’ Hospital over the last six months. All that is left now is to get everyone safe to Donegal and in one piece – and for me personally to aim for the next charity cycle and show these lads and ladies how it should be done!”
Shaun’s friend, Barry Connolly from Moycullen in County Galway said the ultimate goal of ‘Tour for Shaun 2014’ is to raise much needed funds for two very special Irish charities and “to increase general health awareness amongst young adults who often have a false sense of invincibility.”
Barry, who now lives and works in London, added: “Both The Friends of St Luke’s and Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust were nominated by Shaun himself. He has experienced first-hand, the incredible work each of these charities do and has decided they are to be the beneficiaries of our fundraising. I am honoured to join with his many close friends in thanking those who have supported Shaun to date and to show Shaun how much he means to us by undertaking this major challenge in Tour for Shaun.”
The ‘Tour for Shaun’ group will set off from Moycullen, Co. Galway on the morning of Friday May 30th before finishing in Swinford, Mayo. On Saturday the cyclists will travel from Swinford to Donegal Town while they will complete the final leg of the cycle on Sunday by cycling to Shaun’s home village of Clonmany, located on the northern tip of the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal.
A number of fundraising events have taken place in Donegal and in London ahead of the cycle, including a 5km Fun Run in London and in Buncrana, a fundraising auction in Clapham where Shaun lived when he worked in London, a coffee morning held in O’Flahertys of Buncrana and a table quiz in the Strand Hotel in Ballyliffin. All proceeds from the charity fundraisers are also going towards Friend’s of St. Luke’s (www.friendsofstlukes.ie) and Bone Marrow for Leukaemia Trust (www.bonemarrowtrust.ie).
The cyclists particpating in ‘Tour for Shaun 2014’ are Claire McCarron and Aine Daly (Buncrana, Donegal); Des Hanrahan (Tobercurry, Sligo); Declan Keane (Corofin, Clare); Eddie O’Dwyer, Ger Fennessy, Raymond O’Connell (Pallasgreen, Limerick); Conor Lawlor (Ballyclough, Limerick); Tommy O’Connell (Bruff, Limerick); Niall Brady (Trim, Meath); Barry Connolly, Liz Hastings, Padraic Benson (Moycullen, Galway); Allen Martyn, Barry Quinn, John Forde, Stephen Forde (Ballindereen, Galway); Robbie Quinn (Corcullen, Galway); Niall O’Grady (Woodford, Galway); Aoife McNamara (Portumna, Galway); Brian O’Donnell (Barna, Galway); Paddy Gilhooley (Athenry, Galway); Colm Griffin (Ahascragh, Galway); Daniel Connaughton (Roscommon); Patrick O’Connell (Dublin); Michael Cooper (Newmarket, UK); Mike Prosperino (Newcastle, UK); Brian Smith (Kent , UK); and Paul McCarthy (London, UK).
For more information on ‘Tour For Shaun 2014 or to make a donation visit the ‘Tour for Shaun’ fundraising page at www.mycharity.ie/charity/tourforshaun2014 or see the charity cycle Facebook Page or Twitter account.

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