Proceeds from Mick O'Regan Memorial Run have 'saved 135 lives'
Proceeds from the 2019 Mick O'Regan Memorial Motorcycle Run donated to Pieta House mean that the event has raised more than €135,000 for charity since it was first held seven years ago.
This year's run, which took place in August, saw more than 220 bikers traverse the highways and byways of North Cork and South Limerick with volunteers also on collection duty as the cavalcade passed through towns and villages along the 90km route.
A large crowd turned out at Kit Roche's Bar in Buttevant to witness the handing over of the proceeds from the run, a staggering €34,003, to Pat Duffy of Pieta House.
Event co-organiser Mick O'Regan said what had started out a simple tribute to a "fallen friend" has grown into a fantastic annual show of support for the suicide and self-harm prevention charity.
"It is no exaggeration to say that when I revealed the amount raised this year there was an audible gasp of amazement from the large crowd present followed by an almost spontaneous round of applause," said Bertie.
Thanking the gathering Mr Duffy outlined the importance of fundraising events to help fund the work that Pieta House does and the real difference they have made to the lives of people "Although the services of Pieta House it is estimated that the cost of treating a client from the very first day up to the point of good mental health is €1,000," said Mr Duffy.
"Through your efforts you have given life back to 135 people that might otherwise not be with us now. That is an amazing gift you have given."
He said that research undertaken by the Open University aided by the University of Ulster had shown that more than 71 people are directly impacted by the suicide of a friend or loved one.
"This means that 9,600 lives have also been changed for the better through the efforts of all those associated with this run. To put this into some sort of context, this is about four times the population of Buttevant," said Mr Duffy.
"It is worth reiterating that through your efforts, you have saved 135 lives and changed 9,600 others for the better. That is amazing. The organising committee must be acknowledged for keeping Mick O'Regan's memory alive and for turning it into this wonderful and positive result," he added.
Event co-organiser Bertie O'Regan expressed his gratitude to all those who took part in the run, his fellow organisers, sponsors and all who donated money.
"Every cent counts, because every life matters. We can't save those that are gone but we will try our best to save those we still have," said Mr O'Regan.