Friday 30 September 2016

Hurlers cycle from London to Galway in honour of late team-mate and to raise SADS awareness

Ciara Treacy

Published 01/08/2016 | 02:30

Hundreds of cyclists and well-wishers turned out in Gort, Co Gaway, to welcome the cyclists and drivers who completed the charity fundraiser from London in memory of Cathal Forde over the weekend. Photo: Andrew Downes
Hundreds of cyclists and well-wishers turned out in Gort, Co Gaway, to welcome the cyclists and drivers who completed the charity fundraiser from London in memory of Cathal Forde over the weekend. Photo: Andrew Downes

More than 80 cyclists put the pedal to the metal this weekend to complete a 400-mile charity cycle in aid of raising awareness of sudden adult death syndrome (SADS).

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Hurlers from the Kilburn Gaels in London and Gort GAA club in County Galway took part in the challenge to honour Cathal Forde, who died from SADS in 2012.

The Gort native, who was part of the first Kilburn team to win the London Senior Hurling title in 2010, died during a training session in 2012 aged 28. He had been working as an engineer.

Family and friends from his two former clubs embarked on the cycle from Highgate in London last Wednesday and arrived back to Gort yesterday evening.

Cathal's brothers Liam, Niall and Sean, and cousin Brian, all participated.

Proceeds raised will go to the 'Cormac Trust' and to MS Ireland. The Cormac Trust is a charity set up following the sudden death of All-Ireland winning former Tyrone footballer Cormac McAnallen in 2004.

Operations manager for the charity, JP O'Neill, said the cycle was a "big deal" to spread awareness of SADS.

"The Forde family approached us a few months ago (and said) they wanted to do this and we are so grateful," he said. "It's a vital part of providing support and to keep the issue alive."

The charity's objectives include raising awareness of sudden cardiac death in young people, promoting cardiac screening and training people in CPR and in the use of defibrillators.

Irish Independent

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