Donal Walsh: Cyclists reach halfway point in epic journey
THEY braved relentless rain and challenging terrain, but a group of cyclists taking part in a charity cycle in memory of teenager Donal Walsh have reached the halfway mark.
Donal's dad Fionnbar led the group of about 100 people from Tralee Rugby Club this morning as they set out to 'cross Donal's mountains' as part of this year's Cross Rugby Legends cycle in aid of cancer research.
The group stopped outside Donal's home in Blennerville near Tralee, where they observed a minute's silence before embarking on their 110km trek.
The inspirational teen, who lost his battle with cancer last May, completed the same cycle only one year ago with the Cross Rugby Legends who decided to dedicate this leg of their Malin to Mizen cycle to his memory.
At the halfway point in Moll's Gap, Fionnbar Walsh was tired from the gruelling climb but looking forward to completing the challenge in Mizen Head this evening.
"We took the same route as Donal did so that was a bit emotional," said Mr Walsh who completed the first half of the journey on Donal's bike.
"That last 1km coming up Moll's Gap took the biscuit but I think Donal was on my shoulder.
"I'm half way there but the bike is retired now, that was the deal and I'm on my bike now for the rest of it."
Rugby legend Mick Galwey said the Tralee event added to this year's Malin to Mizen cycle.
"Last year, we met Donal here at this very spot and he came all the way to Tralee with us.
"He was recovering from surgery at the time and we thought it was incredibly brave of him.
"Little did we think that 12 months later he wouldn't be here with us but we all know the impact he has left and it's a huge testimony to him the number of people who turned up here today to take part in the cycle," Galwey said.