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Pals in 5,000km cycle to honour tragic Keith

Three college friends are doing a 5,000km charity cycle across Asia in memory of their friend who died tragically in a swimming accident last summer.

Keith O'Reilly (21), from Galway, suffered head injuries in a diving accident in Lake Michigan in the US on July 16 last year.

And his three friends Sean Blank, John Gaffney and Coilin Collins Smyth from NUI Galway are busy preparing for June 4 when they embark on Cycle Asia -- a fundraising bike ride in Asia between June and August in support of three charities in his memory.

John said: "We are out practising today, going from Kilkee in Clare to Galway. We know it's going to be tough but we'll get through it.

"After everything happened last summer, we thought we'd dedicate the cycle to someone and we asked Keith's parents and they were delighted.


"He was a great guy. He was very well-known in Galway. Myself and Sean were in school with him. It's tragic the way it happened.

"It's such a shame to lose a guy like him who was so into sport and he would have been a lot better at doing what we're doing than we are."

The trio have raised €28,500 since Christmas after holding just five fundraising events, and they are cycling across Asia for the Lara Lynn Children's Hospice, the Christina Noble Foundation and the Jack and Jill Foundation.

They will be cycling 100km per day, which is similar distance to that from Limerick to Galway.

Keith was in the US working for the summer in Chicago when the accident happened. He was among a group of about 30 students who were also on summer work in the city.

Anyone wishing to donate money to the cause can lodge money to Bank of Ireland, Account Number 39728082, and Sort Code 904018.