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Friday 29 August 2014

My tragic son Andrew got me through charity cycle - Derry Clarke

Eimear Rabbitte

Published 09/06/2014 | 07:13

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Derry Clarke
Derry Clarke
Andrew Clarke , son of Derry and SallyAnne
Derry Clarke of  L'Ecrivain.
Derry Clarke of L'Ecrivain.

Celebrity chef Derry Clarke has said the thought of his late son Andrew spurred him on to finish a gruelling 200km cross-country challenge in aid of suicide awareness.

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The owner of popular Dublin eatery l’Ecrivain completed the cycle from Dublin to Galway on Saturday, to help raise money for suicide prevention charity Console.

Speaking to The

“It was obviously an important cause for me on a personal level and I was also doing it for suicide and Console,” the chef explained.

“My legs are still not healed after the operation so I never thought I would be doing a cycle like this at the start of June.

“I found it very tough, especially at the second half stage, but luckily the cycle was really well organised and the bike marshals really got 
 me through,” he added.

Clarke was one of 250 participants to set off from Celbridge Manor Hotel at 6am on Saturday morning and cycle 200km across the country to Galway.

CAMPAIGNED

The chef led the team into Galway, alongside Fionbarr Walsh, the father of the late Donal Walsh, who campaigned tirelessly for suicide awareness before his death from cancer.

“It was a nice thing for us to do and it was a day to remember - I am definitely going to do it next year,” Clarke said. “Obviously for personal reasons Console is an extremely important charity to me and I respect what they do greatly.”

Clarke and his wife Sallyanne’s 16-year-old son Andrew was found unconscious in the garage of the family home two days after Christmas in 2012 and passed away on New Year’s Eve. Clarke is now training to take part in the Paris 2 Nice Cycle’ this September along with Chapter One’s Ross Lewis. The 700km cycle is in aid of the National Suicide Charity.

hnews@herald.ie

Irish Independent

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