Tuesday 16 July 2019

Bikers saddle up to help CRY

Aidan McNally, Keith and Donna Costello and Timmy Dennis at a motorcycling event
Aidan McNally, Keith and Donna Costello and Timmy Dennis at a motorcycling event

Ken Phelan

Two motorcycle enthusiasts from Loughshinny and Skerries are set to embark on a gruelling round trip of Ireland with fellow bikers later this month, in order to raise vital funds for a charity very much close to their hearts.

Aidan McNally, Keith Costello - a Skerries roadracing champion - and fifty other bikers will set out on the 1,700 km run from June 21 to June 23 to raise funds for the CRY Ireland clinic in Tallaght Hospital, which provides services and screenings for 'Cardiac Risk in the Youth.'

The clinic holds particular significance to Aidan, whose son Darragh was lost to Sudden Adult Death syndrome in 2011.

Now in its second year, the fundraising event will see riders travel from Dublin to Cork, Kerry to Mayo, Sligo to Belfast and back to Dublin, with every stop in between, in what Aidan says is now the biggest motorcycle charity event in Ireland.

Speaking in the run-up to the event, Aidan explained where the idea for 'Pulit's Lap 2019' came from, and his own experience with CRY:

'The run was originally to honour our friend 'Pulit', who was from Skerries also, and who was a well known name around Fingal. He died in his late forties after a massive heart attack in his kitchen in 2016, and to do something for his children at Christmas, Keith headed off in 2017 and said he'd do a lap of Ireland within twenty four hours, and call it 'Pulit's Lap.'

'Come 2017, we had set up this thing called '2 Wheels 4 You', the idea being 'we'll ride our motorbikes for you'. Keith was very fond of my son Darragh, and he said what if we do it for CRY and raise awareness for sudden death? So we put it out on the internet, for a charity lap of Ireland.

'Here we are on the third year of 'Pulit's Lap', and last year we were able to raise €4,500 for CRY. The clinic were delighted with the funds raised. They thought they were only going to get the €30 registration fee, so they were delighted.'

Such has been the success of the charity run, riders from as far as field as the US and Canada will take part in this year's run, with 'Pulit's Lap' even attracting sponsorship from some of the leading motorcycle dealerships in Ireland.

Explaining the work of CRY, Aidan said: 'I found them when my son Darragh died, and they wanted to screen the parents and all related to see if the genetic makeup could be found as to why the death might have occurred.

'This is the work that they do, not only in the screening and looking for the genetic causes of these sudden deaths, but carrying out research into how to bring a stop to it. The screenings do save lives, because other people who have had a sudden death in their family have been screened and they found the genetic connection, and now for the sake of taking one pill a day, the other child is not going to die.'

The work of CRY, Aidan explained, also extends to offering support and counselling to those bereaved by sudden death. The clinic operates solely on fundraising, so that it's through charities like Aidan's and Keith's that they're able to carry out their work.

Aidan said there's no fundraising target for this year's event, except to exceed last year's figure. 'We have no expectations', he said, 'except to appeal to those involved to raise as much as they can for CRY.'

Anyone wishing to donate to 'Pulit's Lap' to support the great work of CRY can find the local lads Gofundme campaign online at 'Pulit's Lap 2019.'

Fingal Independent