Wednesday 23 January 2019

Bikers gearing up in memory of Mick

Proceeds from annual run to go to Pieta House

Bill Browne

Motorcycle enthusiasts from across Munster will once again don their leathers and 'get on their bikes' on Saturday, August 11, in memory of a 'fallen friend' and to raise money for Pieta House.

The sixth annual Mick O'Regan memorial Motorcycle run will see bikers take to the highways and byways of north and mid-Cork, with proceeds from the run going to the Cork-based suicide and self-harm prevention centre. 

What started out as a simple tribute to a friend has developed into a movement that has brought motorcyclists from across Munster together each year to raise funds for the charity. The event has been organised by friends and family of the late Mick O'Regan, a popular motorbike enthusiast from Buttevant who passed away in 2012. 

Since its inception, the run has raised more than €80,000 for charity, with the bulk of the money being donated to Pieta house.  Co-organiser Bertie O'Regan said it was their way of remembering Mick's life and wonderful personality.

"This is our way of paying tribute to a close friend and highly respected and liked member of the tight-knit biking community in Cork. Last year we had more than 300 bikes taking part, a sign of just how much Mick meant to people." 

The 2018 run was officially launched at Kit's Bar in Buttevant, which will also be the start-off point for the run, with registration taking place at 11am. The convoy will set off at around 12.30pm taking on a more than 100-mile route passing though towns and villages along the way. 

Entry will be by donation and supporters will be out with collection buckets along the route. Pre- and post-run refreshments and music will also be laid on at Kit Roche's. 

Bertie said that while the aim was to raise funds for Pieta House, the run was also about raising awareness of the work they do.

"During a recent visit to Buttevant, Pieta House CEO Brian Higgins repeated over and over again that the Mick O'Regan run had resulted in many lives being saved and many other lives being changed for the better," said Bertie. 

"Everybody says motorbikes are dangerous and nobody ever says they save lives. But, this is proof that they do," he added. 

He said there was an unwritten code among motorcyclists that they never leave a rider behind; for example, if a rider is broken down the others will not leave him stranded. 

"There is a huge similarity between that code and the approach of Pieta House, in that they too do not want to leave anyone behind either. If you are a little broken down, they won't leave until you are also on the way back," said Bertie.  

"Pieta House have assisted countless people with free counselling and help, and their continuing work is heavily dependent on the proceeds of events such as this. That is why we are so glad to be able to help them in any way we can," he said. 

For information contact Bertie on 087 638 4273.