Thursday 27 June 2019

'We want to honour his memory' - family pay tribute to dad who passed away during charity cycle on one year anniversary

Gerry Tobin (58) was taking part in an annual cycle from Cork to Roscommon on Saturday afternoon to raise money for Epilepsy Ireland when he suffered a suspected heart attack.
Gerry Tobin (58) was taking part in an annual cycle from Cork to Roscommon on Saturday afternoon to raise money for Epilepsy Ireland when he suffered a suspected heart attack.

Áine Kenny

The Alan Gallagher memorial cycle this weekend will carry an extra meaning, as it is one year on from loving father Gerry Tobin’s tragic death.

Mr Tobin passed away suddenly during last year’s cycle, and Mark Tobin, Gerry's son and a friend of Alan, said the cycle will be a celebration of both their lives.

The Alan Gallagher memorial cycle has raised over €50,000 for Epilepsy Ireland since its inception ten years ago. The 300km cycle from Cork to Roscommon was founded in memory of Alan Gallagher, who passed away suddenly in 2009. The cycle takes place over one weekend every year.

“The cycle has always been about keeping Alan’s memory alive and the route tracks where he lived and worked. He went to college in UCC, he died in Galway, and he was from Roscommon. This year, we also want to honour Dad’s memory,” Mark says.

“Obviously without Dad this year, there will be mixed emotions. Myself and Mam will be doing the cycle and my brother will meet us at the end. It was always an event in the family calendar, but it will be even more significant.

“Dad was always giddy to do the cycle. This year we will be doing it in his memory. It will be very emotional, but it will also be a celebration.”

The age range of people doing the cycle spans 15-70. The cyclists set off from UCC at 8:30am on Saturday, and arrive in Gort in Galway around 5:30pm. They leave the next morning at 8:30am and arrive at Alan’s family home in Roscommon around 4pm. In total, the cycle lasts roughly 13 hours.

Mark says that the cycle is for a great cause, and he is always blown away by the support.

“Alan had undiagnosed epilepsy. There is often a lack of awareness and stigma attached to epilepsy, and to raise this amount of money and to see the amount of work that goes in is just inspiring.

“The cycle unites Alan’s family and friends, and they should be very proud of what they have achieved.”

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News